The Guardians of Avalon
During his mortal reign, Avalon, even with all his capability, relied on the talents of others to not only rule Avon but to push the Varian struggle against the Scourge into its final successes. Many acted as leaders within the Varian Coalition, though even they ultimately deferred to the Avonian king. This group of individuals represented the most talented and extraordinary of their fields. In legends and to posterity, they have forever become known as the Guardians of Avalon.
The Archmage Vyliar’faeienThe exact reasons for how or why the mysterious elven court mage of Avon came into King Avalon’s service has been left to perpetual speculation. Presumed to have hailed from the Feylands, even the ancient elven civilizations have posited little regarding the individual who would become known as the Archmage Vyliar’faeien. A counselor and tactician, the Vyliar’faeien managed much of Avalon’s affairs beyond the battlefield, such as managing the remnants of Avon and organizing the unification of the Varian Coalition. However, his prowess as a practitioner of magic came to the forefront when he headed the magical legions of the Coalition along with the Archdruid Olivar, the Archcleric Bergram, the Fey’s Hand Galadried, the Master Bard Wirra Wispheart, and a then fellow Avonian mage, Zivier. Furthermore, he continued the study of magic, and its perpetuation, even during conflict. With the blessings of Faenorias, the Vyliar’faeien has also been credited with formulating the magical rituals which led to the banishment of the unending Corruption from Varia, leaving only a remainder of the Scourge for the Coalition’s forces to eradicate. After the end of the conflict, the archmage established the Arcane Society to police the usage of magic in Varia. The Vyliar’faeien’s endeavors have led posterity to laud him as the most powerful mage to have ever walked Varia, within known history. However, he has also garnered another moniker of the “Architect” during the first few centuries of the Era of Restoration. Translating his work from during the War of the Scourge, he pushed forward advancements in magical processes to expedite the building of structures for burgeoning settlements as well as directly contributed to constructions of the Grand Arcaneum, the Palace of Avington, and the city of Ehreal.
The Archdruid OlivarA famed hermit of the Evergreens in the Feylands, Olivar involved himself with the conflict in Varia as an unofficial part of the expeditionary force sent by the Evergreens. To Avalon's supposed amusement and the court's consternation, he inserted himself into the upper echelons of the Varian Coalition without invite and provided counsel regarding the alliance’s strategies. However, more often than not, his suggestions involved pragmatic, if not severe, measures to ensure the least negative impact on the already struggling natural areas of the continent. When the disruption of magic reached its most detrimental level, Olivar played a pivotal role in maintaining communications between the Varian Coalition’s forces. He also numbered among the major spellcasters who prepared the ritual that would banish the Corruption from the continent. At the war’s conclusion, Olivar contributed to the reshaping and reinvigoration of Varia’s lands, rendering it capable of once against supporting the continent’s various species and, to the archdruid’s own discontent, civilizations. However, as the Era of Restoration progressed, he gradually slipped out of the continent’s present mind as major geopolitical powers began to once again claim Varia.
The Archcleric BergamThe clan leader of Stormshield had been the instigator for the unification of the dwarves in the Kor mountains. However, for years, their combined forces only ever put in efforts to defend their ancient homelands from the oncoming Corruption. Despite the overwhelming outcry to the contrary, Bergam reined the dwarven alliance away from the Kor to unite with the rest of Varia’s surviving forces, relying on his esteemed position as the chosen of Kraite than that as clan leader. As part of the Varian Coalition, Bergam had been infamous for butting heads with the Avonian court, often in regards to the assignments of the dwarven forces. The cleric often quarreled with the Vyliar’faeien, more so than any other Guardian, regarding the management of the Coalition’s magical forces. At worse, their disputes brought matters at meetings and war councils to a standstill, though the two would eventually collaborate at length to banish the Corruption. In regards to Avalon, Bergam was among the few individuals to directly ride with the king’s retinue into battle, and the two had been known to hold each other in high esteem as rulers. In the aftermath of the war, Bergam spearheaded the escalation of the dwarven alliance into the formation of the Dwarven Confederation. With the relations he forged during the War of the Scourge, he organized mutual peace with the burgeoning civilizations south of the Kor Mountains, allowing the Confederation to flourish in its eary years. His position also lodged the Stormshield Clan as the head clan at Kor's Peak, establishing a dynastical rule over the city.
The First Pontiff GrandisBefore the Order of Avalon, Grandis had been the enigmatic holy champion amongst the ranks of Avalon’s most esteemed. When rumors of a lone warrior combatting the Scourge in settlements throughout Southern Varia reached Avon, Avalon personally sought him out and invited him amongst his ranks. Grandis accepted though famously stipulated that he would be beholden to no one, not even the famed king. Despite the audacity, the Avalon accepted. Grandis went on to lead legions from the Coalition in their struggles in Southern Varia against both the Scourge. However, as the conflict escalated, creatures from the Barrenlands across the waters began invading the continent which forced Grandis' to confine his numbers to the area. When the Coalition put banishment ritual into motion, Grandis had been the first of the Guardians to complete his portion of the task by securing the south. His divine allegiance prior to Avalon’s ascension remained a mystery throughout the War of the Scourge and continues to spawn theories into the modern day. At the conflict’s conclusion, Grandis gathered followers amongst the remnants of the Varian Coalition and became the first Pontiff of the newly established Order of Avalon. Under his leadership, the organization continued the fight to wipe the Scourge from the continent in its entirety, providing a solace in the early years of the Second Era—a purpose it continues to fulfill into the modern day. Shortly after, he lent his name to the newfound country of Grandia, acting as its ruler when its constituents placed the Order of Avalon at its helm.
The Lady of the Woods Hana O’laireBorn during the War of the Scourge, Hana O’laire grew up on the west coast of Varia in one of the many roaming settlements of survivors. She came of age during the unification of the continent’s forces into the Varian Coalition; an adept hunter, Hana decided to commit herself to Avon's military. Though enlisted as an archer, she also possessed an extraordinary connection to the latent powers of nature, even in its derelict state due to the Scourge. Thus, while her skills as a marksman impressed even veterans of the Coalition, Hana caught the attention of the Archdruid Olivar who then became her mentor. Over the course of the war, she obtained the esteem of Avalon and his other Guardians. At her peak, Hana became the champion of Visarias Eri in Varia, to the amazement of the Evergreens' forces. Other tales speak of her many exploits during the conflict. With the Archdruid, she battled the Scourge to restore Varia’s natural life. On the battlefield, several instances where she had saved Avalon himself were well recorded by her peers. The youngest, and perhaps most charming, of the Guardians, Hana did not survive the war. Her death has led her to symbolize the Varian effort against the Scourge, leading to her veneration in the following Eras.
The Enlightened One KelliamBanished from his tribe and orcish society as a whole, Kelliam lived in the isolation of the Kor Mountains for decades during the War of the Scourge. Supposedly he reached the pique of mortal physicality through endless training and meditation. He tapped into the latent capabilities of the body to gain powers capable of not only withstanding but also combating what Scourge dared to tread his mountain sanctum. Through his contemplation, Kelliam came to peace with his past transgressions, of his fault and others against him. And, it was through this long process that he made the realization that while he may persist through his solitude that the world beyond continued to suffer, that a whole could only be so with all its pieces at harmonious unison. Thus, Sarod came to choose his unlikely champion: a man who had known nothing but the wilds would be his arm in restoring order to Varia. Kelliam traversed the ruined continent in search of others who had the will to fight the Scourge as he had resolved to do. During these travels, he encountered forces from the Varian Coalition and joined their ranks. His tale had amazed even King Avalon who did not take long to entrust the once isolated warrior with his life. Kelliam fought by his side until the end of the War of the Scourge. In the Era which followed, he continued his efforts to protect the continent, the now whole which had once brought him out of his exile. However, as much as he used his fists, Kelliam became, too, a preacher of wisdom and peace.
The Master Bard Wirra Wispheart &
Though each a Guardian of Avalon with their own merits, rare is it to find a retrospect which separates these two incredible individuals. Born amongst the ruins of Southern Varia, Wirra Wispheart and Jorrin Duskheart grew up with nothing but their talents and each other. Wirra, blessed with prodigious skill in music and arts, brought a long gone joy to wherever she went and whomever she met. Beside her—though more likely lurking in a nearby shadow—Jorrin remained ever vigilant for them both. Wirra’s optimism kept her companion on a steady path forward without the metaphorical weight on his shoulders tipping him over. Meanwhile, Jorrin tempered her passion with caution, which more often than not kept them moving for as the Scourge seemed to loom around every path they tread.
However, as the duo came to realize, they each had, for most of their life, held the favor of the gods. In a later encounter, Wirra discovered that Erevea had chosen her, set her on the path of the bards of old, to spread not just music and joy, but hope in these trying times. Her youth and inexperience serving as a symbol that hope could come at any source and the good that would come from nourishing such light. Correspondingly, Jorrin had garnered the blessings of Ilm. As with most of Ilm’s deeds, the god was less explicit with his reasons, though many speculate that he, too, had decided to take a chance on Erevea’s approach.
Their travels eventually brought them into contact with the Varian Coalition when they encountered a company’s camp led by Grandis as they attempted to cross a battlefield. By then, Wirra’s talents could be weaved into magic to bend the world around her, and Jorrin had long since kept his roguish blade sharp to protect her. Distrusted at first, Wirra warmed the hearts of the weary soldiers. With the growing sense of responsibility for the world around them, Wirra asked for permission to stay and provide what she could to soothe the soldier’s spirits. When the holy warrior ganted her request, Jorrin had nothing to do but stay at her side and soon take part in the battles against the Scourge.
News of the duo’s presence did not take long to spread through the ranks of the Coalition and eventually reach the ears of Avalon and his court. Brought to them in an audience, the two found themselves on yet another path, separate from the legions that they had previously accompanied. Yet, even as their duties to the Coalition called for them to part ways with the other, they remained inseparable, protocols be damned. The Archmage Vyliar’faeien took interest in the bard’s talents and saw personally to the furtherment of her education in magic. Wirra later did her part in banishing the Corruption, though before then, she continued in her endeavors to play joy and hope into the hearts of the Coalition’s forces. Jorrin found a mentor in Kelliam, the Enlightened One. The man helped set him at ease with his worries for Wirra’s safety and to understand the importance of his own, striking a balance of duty to himself and to others. Now honing his skills with a guiding hand, Jorrin maintained his niche as the unseen retainer to Wirra and, ultimately, to Avalon himself.
Come the end of the War of the Scourge, the two resumed their travels without much issue, now free of any formal obligations. However, by the Era of Restoration, more tales were being sung of the two hearts than what even Wirra could play out for her vast audiences.
The Shadow Jorrin Duskheart
The Grand Duelist DerogenA native Avonian and eventual chosen of Marcet, Derogen rose to fame as a rare mercenary soldier who operated along the west coast of Varia. Once Avon organized the Varian Coalition, she had offered her services to the alliance for a hefty price. It was said that Avalon had been present during negotiations for her fee and subsequently challenged her to test her worth in gold. Derogen accepted and summarily bested the king in a battle of blades. At the end of the affair, Avalon agreed to pay double her price; though ultimately, she never accepted a single coin from the kingdom. While the king offered her a platoon to lead herself, Derogen instead served as a guard to Avalon and, later, to the Vyliar’faeien and his circle of mages. With her skills respected by all factions within the Varian Coalition, she also took to training soldiers and combatants. At the end of the War of the Scourge, she accepted an offer to become the captain of Avon’s Royal Guard. However, Derogen’s tenure proved brief and she returned to roaming the coasts for mercenary work shortly after, spawning more tales of her adventures and prowess as the continent’s greatest swordswoman.
The Fey’s Hand GaladriedAn elven native of the Evergreens, Galadried had been a mage of high esteem supposedly blessed with powers by the ancient Fey. When the Corruption wreaking havoc on Varia continued to amass strength, fears of its spread into the Feylands sent him into action, both literally and metaphorically. Thus, Galadried traveled into the Scourge-ridden Varia as one of the leaders of the Evergreens' expeditionary forces, soon coming into contact with the Varian Coalition. He henceforth served as the main liaison between the alliance and the kingdom of the Evergreens. Along with the Vyliar’faeien, Galadried provided direct counsel and strategies to Avalon. However, Galadried carried himself more as an equal, than advisor, to the Avonian king, presuming the airs of a major leader comparable to the likes of Bergam. Furthermore, he took on the capacity of a teacher to up and coming mages trained by the Coalition during the war. At the conflict's climax, Galadried numbered among the few who toiled on the ritual to banish the Corruption, contributing in the success of their efforts. At end of the War of the Scourge, Galadried returned to the Feylands, never to step foot in Varia ever again. His achievements as a part of the Coalition's effort granted him enough distinction for his services to be sought after by the Evergreens and even the other kingdoms of the Feylands beyond. However, he refused any and all offers indefinitely for reasons unknown.
The False One ZivierThe court mage of the preceding king to Avalon, Zivier had been the most renowned arcanist in the kingdom of Avon, knowledgeable and powerful regardless of the effects of the conflict on the numbers and quality of mages. He remained in the Avonian court and maintained his status into the early years of Avalon’s succession to the throne. With the Vyliar’faeien’s appearance in the kingdom, Zivier found a comparable peer in the elven mage, sparking a productive collaboration and friendship. However, when Avalon turned his sights to the Scourge, Zivier numbered among those who opposed the kingdom’s involvement, dividing the Avonian court in the process. At the Vyliar’faeien’s proposal to establish a united force in Varia, Zivier found himself ousted from his position—though the event often been described as a seemingly graceful resignation—and replaced by his friend. Nonetheless, Avalon kept the mage among his ranks in recognition and necessity of Zivier’s talents. It has been speculated that this event marks the first rift between Zivier and the Vyliar'faeien and the beginning of the Zivier's fall. While the Varian Coalition’s efforts against the Scourge escalated, Zivier continued his works for the cause. Just as several of the other Guardians of Avalon garnered the attention of the divines, Zivier, too, became the chosen of Aizur, as if to match the Vyliar'faeien's blessings. Yet, his peer's continual rise in prominence cast a lingering shadow over Zivier himself. Sometime before the end of the War, Zivier enacted a coup in Avington, presumed to have changed his allegiances to the scourge, but was promptly neutralized by his former allies.
"Time obscures all tales. So how much can we trust from an era where even time itself has been obscured?...Then again, Varia has been a land of fantastical events. Anyone who's lived here long enough probably believes in the legends of the Guardians somehow or another. After all, even legends have seeds of truth in them. Just have to dig around the fluff and dirt first."
The King, Casters, and Combatants
Disclaimer: Time, Age & Discrepancies
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