WE DID IT! Thank you for supporting our Kickstarter for Book 1, A Few Good Elves!
Available now at most major retailers.

Lyrissande Verbena (LEER-i-sand ver-BEE-nuh | /'liɹ ɪ sænd vərˈbi nə/)

Freedom fighter, spellsinger, hero

Lugh, Elf-father, hear my cry! For I stand witness, that on this world and any other, there be only one kind of elf. And no matter where we choose to make our home; from the depths of the underworld, to the azure sky and beyond, we are one people, and one spirit; conjured from Arianrhod’s own tears, formed of the earth by Your blood.
— Lyrissande Verbena, The Affirmation of Avalon

Winglord Brehon Lyrissande Verbena (She/They)

Lyrissande Verbena was a legendary folk hero on the world of Caer'Thun. A Swordsinger and a Spellsinger , she turned the tide against a tyrannical nation that nearly conquered her world. Further, her words, music, and exploits have since inspired elven unification and protection of wild places throughout Known Space, hundreds of years after her martyrdom.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Early Life

A house in a tree in an autumnal forest
Verbena Family Home by Schmidsi
Lyrissande was the youngest of two children in a Sidhe noble family. Her mother was killed in a fight against orcs when Lyrissande was a small child. Doted on by her father, a Velmailain counsellor, and her significantly-older brother, a militia Captain, she enjoyed a protected childhood filled with love. Best described as "precocious," her energy and cleverness were channeled early into the study of the Avalonian Spellsinger tradition and the art of Swordsong , both of which she took to with talent and zeal.   A shadow passed over this idyllic life when Lyrissande neared her coming-of-age. The Tyrannen Invasion was spreading over Caer'Thun, and half the continent of Tahlyrae had fallen under their dominion. They were rumoured to use new, powerful magics that literally drained the life from the land and people around them. With both her father and brother worried, Lyrissande vowed that on her Yadarisar, she would either stop the Tyrranen, or protect her homeland from them. Her father gifted her with the family Runeblade upon this declaration.

The Green Stable

In the city-state of Tornn, Lyrissande borrowed money from the Outlaw of Tornn and founded The Green Stable gladiators as a front for her rebellion.   Due to her ability to see the best in people, she successfully recruited some of the greatest gladiators of the time, including Valrik Stormbringer and his brother Kaimen. She also purchased Viktor Frostfire to save him from execution as an "unmanageable slave," freed him, and asked him to fight for her anyway. Viktor immediately agreed.   With winnings from her bets on Viktor as a first-time combatant, she was able to pay off Kalvarian, with interest, and invest the remainder of her winnings into her stable. She purchased the services of Drathnar Strongarm as her trainer -- and won his loyalties with her optimism and hope. She also recruited Lashyva Shadowwalker, a Sluagh Dianic priestess, scandalizing elves on all sides. Rumours of an ongoing affair between them scandalized their peoples even more.  
Kaimen Stormbringer by Pendlebury Annette
Meanwhile, Velmailain, Lyrissande's homeland, fell to the Tyrannen. The Academy of Arts, more than a thousand years old, was razed to the ground, along with its ancient collection of books from lost Avalon.   Travelling the gladiatorial circuit provided the Green Stable an excellent opportunity to sow dissent and build their rebellion. With her skills as a Spellsinger, Lyrissande kept the band going, even while all of their winnings were funneled into the hands of freedom fighters. She performed in taverns and busked in the streets, until her reputation grew to the point that wealthy elites immediately offered patronage as soon as word reached them that she was in town, thus giving her access to the halls of power. She, Lashyva, and the Stable, all of whom possessed surprising skills in stealth and subterfuge as well as combat prowess, used these opportunities to eavesdrop, seduce, and otherwise decant as much information as they could to aid the Resistance.   They also put their weapons and spells to work in more direct ways; stealing weaponry, supplies, food and money from the Tyrannen military or their supporters; and what they could not steal, they destroyed. These attacks were strategic to minimize risk of discovery.   By far, however, their greatest tool in the Resistance was their popularity. They channeled their star power into influence, and secretly spread songs and stories encouraging liberation and non-human pride in the humanosupremist empire. Much of the money used to aid the rebellion went directly to improving the lives of common people. Everyone adored them, or were obligated to pretend they did.

Exile

It was perhaps inevitable that eventually, news of the Green Stable's political leanings would reach the wrong ears. Fortunately, by this time Kalvarian had become a loyal supporter of both Lyrissande and the Resistance, and he utilized his vast underground network to tip Lyrissande off to the betrayal and help her to escape from Tyrranen-held territory.  
A blond, bearded man with facial scars and Norse jewelry, with a fur collar
Drathnar Strongarm by Larisons
No longer able to rally people within the Tyrannen Empire, Lyrissande turned her efforts to those who still remained free of their influence. Her argument, that it was only a matter of time before the Tyrannen came for everyone who had not yet fallen under their yoke, received a mixed reception. The dwarves of the Iron Hills recognized this wisdom and threw themselves behind the Resistance wholeheartedly, as did the Inhidians.   Others required more convincing. As part of her effort to convince the Khel'Nasar and the plainspeoples of Vel'darra to join the cause, Lyrissande sought initiation into the Khel'Nasar. She ascended the Iron Hills and won the loyalty of a black-feathered Nasar, whom she named Omen . In the meantime, Lashyva was in the city of Eveningcrown, trying to convince the Sluagh of Vel'sirra to join the cause, with some limited success.   The Khel'Nasar believed that one could never succeed at their initiation unless their hearts truly were dedicated to defending the world's wild places. When Lyrissande called a Parliament, it didn't take long to convince them to join the fight, especially when they heard about these life-draining magics. With their support, Drathnar Strongarm, a member of the Wolf Tribe of Vel'darra, called a Grand Moot, and through Lyrissande's persuasion and his own combat prowess, was declared War Chieftain. The United Werepeoples of Vel'darra declared war on the Tyrannen, starting with a series of lightning raids against settlements and supply chains.  
Ayrie Peaks by Buddy Nath
Hawkwind Tower by David Foxx

Tohvassneris

The Green Stable made their way first to Veladin to speak to the Nunnehi there, then to Tohvassneris to try to enlist the aid of the Alfar. Winning their support was crucial, as Veladin and Tohvassneris held most of the last remnants of the magic of the Avalonian Empire on Caer'Thun. Tohvassneris was the last active starfaring port, after Tornn's docks were scuttled to protect them from the Tyrannen.   But Lyrissande was unsuccessful. The wounds of the Succession Wars still ran too deep on Caer'Thun. Veladin's leadership said only that they would consider it. Tohvassneris still kept slaves of other Elven ethnicities whose parents and grandparents had been captured during the wars. Sidhe were regarded as a lesser people, and Sluagh, after the kidnapping of the Imperial Heir centuries before, were not even to be spoken to.   While her reputation was now such that the Lord of the City, Imperial Heir Selnaris Khi'Marinae, was willing to see her, he was not convinced that the other elves, or other peoples, of Caer'Thun were his concern; nor was he convinced the Tyrannen had the power to assault Tohvassneris' high mountains or break their formidable magical defenses. With the support of the nobility, he turned the Green Stable away.  
A crystal city on a mountain peak, surrounded by a field of ice
Tohvassneris by Artbreeder
High mountain peaks with crystalline towers and floating crystal castles
Tohvassneris by Mocah.org

Last Stand

In the subsequent months, both Veladin and Vel'sirra fell to the Tyrannen. A few months after that, Tohvassneris fell. The Alfar abandoned the planet and destroyed the docks to keep the Tyrannen out of space. In spite, the Tyrannen razed the city to ash, and salted the earth so nothing would again grow there. Eyewitness accounts claim that when the news reached her, Lyrissande sobbed like her heart was broken.   Desperate, Lyrissande and her followers put aside any last misgivings about traditional enemies. She approached the orcs of Bloodhaven , and even the goblins of Traggharg and the Firststar Cartel. Initially hostile, they became more receptive as news spread of mighty Tohvassneris' fall.   Now almost entirely given over to scouting and messenger services for the disparate components of the Resistance, the Khel'Nasar warned Lyrissande of a massive force marching on Vel'darra. Determined that the Tyrannen would not have the last major elven civilization on Caer'Thun, Lyrissande rallied everyone she could to stop them.   The night before the battle, Lyrissande was told of a vision.  
She will break the spine of Tyrannia, but she will not celebrate with them.
— Seldan, High Priest of Vel'darra
  She took this to mean she was destined to die in the fight -- but they would win. After being sure to assign a clear chain of command, she sat down in her final hours to write her death-poem. This would become known as The Affirmation of Avalon.

A medieval army marching out of a castle

Tyrannen Army Marching on Vel'darra by Willgard

On the morning of Selaro 3813 AC, General Brehon Winglord Lyrissande Verbena led the last free peoples of Caer'Thun against the Tyrannen army in The Battle of the Vel'darran Plains. She was disintegrated by the fell magic of Kalisus, the Archmage-Tyrant who ruled the Tyrannen, in the opening salvos.   Her death accomplished what her life could not. The army rallied to her call. Two hours into the fighting, when it seemed the army was at the end of its strength, Selnaris Khi'Marinae came out of exile, leading thousands of pegasii and unicorn rider cavalry, and a fleet of starfaring ships, in their defense. Drathnar Strongarm was carried by ship directly to Kalisus, and broke the Tyrant's spine as he cast him from a cliff. The tyrant's destruction resulted in an explosion that killed thousands on both sides. The Tyrannen survivors surrendered.   Emboldened by the news, the Resistance broke into open rebellion all over Caer'Thun. The reign of the Tyrannen was at an end.   Neither Kalisus' nor Lyrissande's bodies were ever found.  
A Starseed ship flying above the clouds
Avalonian Imperial Navy ship by Silverblade the Enchanter
An idyllic rolling grassland, with butterflies in the foreground
Plains of Vel'darra by Larisa Koshkina

Legacy

Lyrissande's story is perhaps the most culturally significant legend on Caer'Thun. It is used to this day to encourage cooperation and compassion.   The Affirmation of Avalon has been widely quoted on worlds throughout Known Space to call for elven unity. The cold war between the elves has ended. While relations are not warm, neither are they openly hostile.   Tohvassneris built a new city, Sol'Tohvassneris. They no longer keep slaves. Its gate is guarded by a giant statue of Lyrissande on one side, and Omen on the other.   Statues of Lyrissande also appear in the town square of Tornn, the city of Velmailain, and the courtyard of Symmerin University. The plainspeoples of Vel'darra still make protective charms to invoke Lyrissande's blessings.   A legend claims that Lyrissande and Omen will return to the world in the hour of the elves' greatest need.

Gender Identity

Cisgender

Sexuality

Pansexual

Education

Lyrissande was well educated. As a young Sidhe noble, and the indulged daughter of a noted scholar, she had access to one of the greatest libraries on Caer'Thun; including a significant collection that had been rescued from fabled Avalon.   She began training in the ancient Spellsinger tradition at a young age, and so was also skilled in the bardic arts of oratory and memorization. First-hand accounts of her life claim that she had an eidetic memory. She also joined the Greenheart Swordsong School and received excellent martial and magical training.   Lyrissande was also well-educated in mathematics, since she and Lashyva Shadowwalker kept the books for her gladiatorial stable. Her magical education was also demonstrably excellent, since spells remain in common use today that she invented.
Don't forget that you can click on the blue compass on the left to access the Table of Contents at any time!
A Few Good Elves Cover Small.png

Want to read all of the Toy Soldier Saga fiction, even before the rest of the world does?Subscribe now!

Music by Lyrissande Verbena
Alignment
Neutral Good
Current Location
Species
Elf
Ethnicity
Date of Birth
28 Cold Moon
Date of Death
4 Buck Moon
Life
3748 AC 3813 AC 65 years old
Circumstances of Death
Martyred in a last stand against the Tyrannen
Birthplace
Velmailain
Place of Death
Plains of Vel'darra
Children
Gender
Female
Eyes
Silver-blue with silver sparkles
Hair
Long, nut-brown, usually worn in braids or otherwise out of her face, decorated with beaded and feathered leather ties
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Fair, smooth
Height
5'
Weight
95 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
One discontent is like dropping a pebble in the sea. But many...many are a landslide.
— Lyrissande Verbena
They can't defeat all of us!
— Lyrissande Verbena
Children of Avalon, remember!
— Lyrissande Verbena
Belief/Deity
Lugh Elf-father
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations
Known Languages
Elvish, Orcish, Draconic, Gnomish

Omen by Schauhi

A stylized green dragon wrapped around a long sword, point down

Greenheart Swordsinger School Tattoo by Lord Galakrond

A simple wooden harp in a flower garden on a summer day

Lyrissande's Harp by Cheleichpost0

A lute with a closeup on the rosette

Lyrissande's Maplewood Lute by ml991

A statue of an elven woman on a stone base, carrying a sword and a banner

Statue of Lyrissande Verbena at the gates of Sol'Tohvassneris by HeroForge

A thick forest in autumn, with a high mountain range in the background

Velmailain and the Iron Hills by Kanenori



Cover image: Iron Hills by Samuel Francis Johnson
Character Portrait image: Lyrissande Verbena by FX Quadro

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
22 Jan, 2022 21:15

Great article and an inspiring story. It was just delightful to read through! Very brave of her to go into battle anyway even though she was certain she would die.

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
26 Jan, 2022 18:49

Thank you :) This is a character I played in one of our campaigns that Erin was DMing. Playing the character, I felt she couldn't turn away. To do so would have undermined everything she was fighting for. I imagine real people who choose heroic ends must feel the same way. The world needs more heroes, and it would be nice if we would stop making them pay such a heavy price.

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
28 Jan, 2022 13:26

That is an awesome way to say goodbye to your character even though it must be quite hard. Indeed we need those heroes so future heroes are not needed anymore!

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
17 Feb, 2022 18:42

At the time I was really sad about it. In retrospect, I remember it as one of the most fun games I ever played :)

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
23 Jan, 2022 22:57

A wonderful article and story! And that song is FANTASTIC! The little vid clip is SPECTACULAR!

Here is my Challenge article! HROKENTORM   Come vist my worlds PANGORIO for exciting tales, world lore, and RPG adventures! HYPNOSIUM is my new historical fantasy world!
26 Jan, 2022 18:38

Thank you, Dazz! I had a Muse; she kept me up until 3 am making the song and the video. I'm glad it was worth it!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
26 Jan, 2022 17:27

Lots of images, lots of cross-links! \o/   Looks like there are many dead bards around in this competition. :-(

26 Jan, 2022 18:38

But is she? ;) Is she really? :D   Thanks for the comments, Tillerz :D

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
27 Jan, 2022 18:39

I absolutely love visualizing a unicorn and pagasii Calvary charging into battle while being supported from the air by a fleet of starships! This is a world I want to play in! Well done.

28 Jan, 2022 18:54

Thank you :D I see this in my head very much like Gandalf's charge at the Battle of Helm's Deep, only with stuff coming at the army from the air, too :)

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
1 Feb, 2022 01:40

There's so much to love here, but I think my favorite part is the Green Stable. I love what she does for the gladiators there. I also really loved when she won the loyalty of Omen, because I remembered what a Nasar was even before hovering over the link—which is saying something because my brain is terrible forgetful sometimes.   Anyway, thank you for all of this!

Check out the Bekiskpan — originators of the chain mail bikini and my entry for “On the Shoulders of Giants.”
17 Feb, 2022 20:08

Thanks for the kind words, Chris!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
1 Feb, 2022 15:19

An amasing story. You make it sound so much more glorious than my paltry descriptions at the time. This is a character I would want to learn more about if I didn't know it already.

17 Feb, 2022 20:08

Nah! You're a great Game Master. You tell a good story :)

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
13 Feb, 2022 19:53

Amazing job! My favorite section was reading about the Green Stable and initially using it to plant the seeds of rebellion to come. You artwork was also on point in enhancing the article.   As a player/DM i chuckled a little bit that you mention she is disintegrated and later mention her body was never found, as i cant tell you the number of higher level campaigns that "i loot the body"....... "yea, you cast disintegrate, what did you want to loot again" has happened

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
17 Feb, 2022 20:09

:D Yeah, that's a familiar song, isn't it? LOL Thanks for your kind words!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
15 Feb, 2022 13:05

Such an inspiring and wonderful story, though it had a sad end. I saw that this is a player character from a campaign you played in, and wow, that must have been a wonderful and intense experience.   Beautiful article. <3

17 Feb, 2022 20:38

This was a great campaign that we still talk about, yes. Erin is an amazing Game Master. He knows how to tell a good story :) Thanks for your kind words, Emy!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
16 Feb, 2022 02:04

Nice article! Favorite detail was how she knew her death was coming so she spent the time writing her own dirge. Suitably epic for a bard.

Hello!
17 Feb, 2022 20:45

Thanks, Lady Grayish! I actually played that... truthfully, I had started composing it when Lyrissande left Tohvassneris, but I finished it just before the session with the battle, and Lyrissande urged her friends to see that it was shared, if anything happened to her. So a slight historical inaccuracy there because the unreliable narrator is always present ;)

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
17 Feb, 2022 09:04

Great article! This was a fascinating story though very tragic in the end... And fantastic song too! Gladiators fight was an interesting way to sneak in everywhere XD You didn't mention what her family thought of what she was doing and what role they had in subsequent events. Were they not really important in all of this?   A few notes on things I noticed in the article:   1) In the green stable section I missed the moment when Lyrissande wentinto conquered land. Was the city of Tornn already conquered by the Tyrannen?   2) I was also a bit confused with Kalvarian not being fully introduced.   3) The last section on education doesn't seem to be in the right place when the rest of the article was her life story in chronological order. I would put it either with the section about her childhood or in the sidebar

To see what I am up to, here is my civilisation challenge article.
17 Feb, 2022 20:28

Hey Amelie! I always appreciate your detail-oriented eye. :)   1) Yes, Tornn was already under the Tyrannen yoke. Cities are city-states in Caer'Thun, and extremely isolated from one another. Tornn was considered a "human" nation by the elves and dwarves who are their nearest neighbours, and therefore, not their concern. They tend to dislike humans anyway, and did not see much difference between the humans who were there before and their new masters. And humans change governments so frequently they can't keep up. They didn't feel the need to get involved until they themselves were threatened. It's an old story: "First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist..."   2) Word count limits prevented me from expanding upon Kalvarian, but if you hover over the Outlaw of Tornn link, the title of the article it links to is "Kalvarian, the Outlaw of Tornn." It's a published article with limited information that we will flesh out in detail eventually. (Actually, you might want to hover over many things, especially my tooltips. They provide important information and some of them I hope are funny :D )   3) That's the template! I could move it around I suppose, but I am already within ten words of the word count limit, so that would be three more words of title, and I'm not sure I dare!   Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful comments!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
Powered by World Anvil