Small and lithe, Lloryn is your classic Stygian beauty. Green eyes that glow mysteriously when she is angry or upset, dusky skin colored by the many hours in the sun, and luxuriously braided hair, a deep red like the wine that flows so freely in Stygia. Her face is marked with symbols meaning Touched by Set, a rough translation of her name, and on her back is a tattoo depicting a Styx figure.
Though she practices the dark art of Necromancy, most would not know it. She has lived through the pain of death at her own hands to an otherwise innocent person, and as such, she masks her arts to all but those she meets in battle. More often to be seen relaxing at an inn than participating in the ongoing war efforts, she is friendly, but mysterious.
I ... used to be known as someone else. I guess... I was the same... am still the same person. But I feel different. More has changed than just my name. But my name is all I have. I am Lloryn, I am a necromancer, and I am here.... here to stay.
I can tell you all about where this all started. I was a child... barely 5 years old. The rain that year was horrible, it never seemed to stop. I longed for the warmth of the desert as I sat huddled in my bed, shaking every time the thunder raged around me. I remember it... it became bitterly cold. This was not the same cold that was seeping through my windows, but an unnatural coldness that was emanating from the corner of my room that I shared with my older sister. I looked to the corner, and whimpered when I saw... him. Tall, thin, a face masked and sinister, eyes glowing through the mask speaking to me without any words. He was making the cold. I never questioned how he got there, nor why he was there. I just stared as he drifted across the room. He stood before me, watching. I shivered against the cold and fear that was crawling over my skin. Then the being held out his hand. I didn't think for even a second. I took hold, and suddenly I was not cold anymore. I was not scared anymore.
The sheets fell from around my shoulders as I was lifted into the air, flying through the window which was now opened, and out into the rain. I was cleansed, the rain washed me as we flew, and still I was not cold. Lightning flashed around me, but still I was not scared. This being held my hand tightly, and showed me the world through thin moonlight filtered through the rainclouds. We finally stopped atop the great Pyramid, and the clouds parted and cleared at his command. I stood there, a bit shaky at the dizzying heights, while the being floated beside me. As the land lay there, dark and cool in the clear moonlight, he leaned to me, this being, and began to whisper into my ear. He said many things to me that night. Things of wonder and joy, and beyond the comprehension of any who read this tale. He fed these words into my head, and then sealed them away, leaving only the memory of his coming to me, and his speaking to me, and of our flight. I nodded as he finished, understanding that I was not meant to understand those words he so lovingly whispered into my ear.
The flight home was faster, as the rain clouds gathered again and started its downpour. I was dropped into the bed, and the being faded into the shadows again. I went to sleep immediately, and dreamed a wonderful dream I still remember but yet cannot recall.
I woke the next morning to my mothers angry screams at "someone" leaving the window open and the rain coming in. I smiled, but hid it from my mother. For 6 months, I scoured my sisters books, for she was well learned in magical arts, and tried to find something of this wonderful being who had taken me and told me all the wonderful things I did not understand. I finally found him, and he had a name.... Magus... He was my Magus. Mine? my little head pondered, as I had not yet felt a calling to any craft, let alone the dark magic of necromancy like my sister. Yours. came an answer that was not of my own mind, but I nodded.
My sister found me that day, reading about the Magus, not understanding most of it as my reading was as young as my mind. She was angry, mad as Set that I would touch her sacred books, and I think a bit scared at what she saw me reading. Her yells were heard by my mother, who came to see what was happening. She saw me with the book, which I had hastened to close when I was discovered, and said with a sneer on that pouty little face of hers, "So you have decided, have you?"
I have studied since that day, under the tutelage of my own sister, humiliated often at her hand. I have learned much, though I do not think my sister knows what happened that night... many years ago... when I was told the secrets of the land. I don't even think I know what really happened, for those secrets are still locked up, waiting... for today.
Before I start the ritual, I must tell you now of my ... change. When more than just my name was changed. It is not a pleasant story, and I do hope you will grant me just a few minutes more to explain it.
After my mothers... unfortunate passing... I was left under the care of my sister, Loranthala. Now, we are sisters and there is a love there, but it is buried deep under years of insufferable treatment at her hands. I believe she knows more than she lets on about what happened that night of the rainstorm. Perhaps she realized, those 6 months later, that I had been... chosen. But that is a different tale. Suffice it to say that she had been a cruel teacher, but not without love. Without the love, I would have killed her long ago.
Two young girls, in Khemi, alone... it is a recipe for disaster. And that is what happened. Loranthala became ill, and I was left to care for her. Being not even 15 at the time, I did what I could to make money or get food, short of selling my body. One day as I scrounged in a dirty alley looking for food, I was discovered by a filthy man. He was large and round, like a ball with legs and a head. He smelled awful. He grabbed me by the arm and looked at me with unfettered joy. He dragged me unwillingly away, to an even dirtier man who stood leaning against a dark doorway, flanked by several filthy *****s who looked ready to drop from malnutrition. With a husky, out-of-breath voice, the large man who held me asked the dirty man how much I was. I widened my eyes, and tried to talk, only to receive a sharp slap in the mouth by the dirty man, who appraised me, knowing full well he had no right to sell me. He whispered a price, far too low if you ask me, and the fat man giggled as he handed over the coins, dragging me away to his filthy house many streets away.
I feared for Loranthala, left in the streets without me to bring her food or care for her in her illness. But I dare not mention her, lest the fat man feel the need to spend a bit more coin. I was dragged through the dirty house, my nose upturned at the smell of stink that hung in the very air. I was thrust into a tiny room barely big enough for the bed within it, and as the door slammed shut, I cried. I had no idea how I would get out of this, for no amount of talking would matter to the fat man, he had paid a price and in his head, I was his.
It didn't take long for the fat man to take a liking to me. He had many others like me, though I will never know how many truly. He kept us all locked in our own tiny rooms and only rarely did we catch a glimpse of each other. I tried to hold my disgust in at his filthy house, and found that if I was not outright vile to him, he would reward me with little gifts, like some extra food or time in my own room, which I had quickly cleaned to a standard I could live with. But almost nightly he came to my room, and knocked his special knock, and took me to his room. His favorite... he doted on me. I took it stoically, never showing my true disgust for the man and his choice of living arrangements.
Whenever he took me to his room, he always had this elaborate crystal goblet in his hand. It was oddly the only clean thing in the house. He drank lustily from it, usually falling under the spell of the deep red wine he preferred after only a couple goblets full. I learned quickly to keep him talking, for the more he talked, the more he drank, and the more likely he was to fall asleep without satisfying his carnal lust. I preferred those nights, for acting as his love slave was degrading.
After only a couple of weeks, I had enough. Even with his doting and bestowing what gifts he could, I grew weary and I was worried beyond words about my sister. One night, the knock came as I was lost in meditation. I was annoyed at being interrupted, but knowing I had no choice, I followed his plump behind to his room. I tried to speak with him, to lull him into sleep with his wine and my words. But it was not going to work tonight. He approached me, his desire evident as he removed his clothes. I tried again to talk to him, but he merely drank from that cursed goblet, smiling at me, and ripped my clothes from my body.
I.... still can't recall what exactly happened. As I stood there, naked and shivering, an unearthly cold engulfed the room. The fat man stood there, one hand still grasping the shreds of my clothes, the other wrapped around his goblet, and then he fell, crumpling to the floor, a look of abject horror on his face. I was shaking... my body felt simultaneously freezing cold and burning hot. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the movement I hadn't seen in many years, a black robe on a tall thin figure, and then it was gone. I looked at the man on the floor below me. I kicked him, many times, though I don't remember how many. He would have felt it if he had any feeling left. As a last act of defiance, I ripped that ornate goblet from his hands, cursing at it and the way it held the man in its grips. I lifted my arm to throw it, shatter it against the wall, but I found I could not. Instead, I stowed it within my robes, and I quickly left the house, after unlocking as many doors as I could find and leaving the keys in the kitchen in case there were others.
As I walked the streets of Khemi, looking for my sister, dawn came. With dawn, I passed by a mirror in a shop window. I stopped, and stared. I touched my face, and the reflection touched its face. I shook my head, and the reflection responded in kind. But that was not me... it was not my face, not my hair.... I touched my hair, disbelief overwhelming me. Two markings were on my face, in the symbol meaning "Touched by Set." I shuddered. I did not want to be touched by Set or any other of the foul gods we worship. I stood at that mirror for many minutes, staring, talking to it, and finally, accepting that it was me. Only... not me. I shed my old name... I cannot even recall now what it was, and I adopted the name Lloryn, an old Stygian name meaning Touched by Set. I felt it was appropriate.
I found my sister the next day after a very hard night on the streets of Stygia. She had been found shortly after I had been taken, but by someone we knew, who took her in and cared for her. When she found me, I was yelled at for a good long time for "sneaking off" and leaving her. I never told her what happened while I was gone. I never told her how I came across that goblet... the goblet I got in the habit of using myself. Drinking of it... it gave me life. It was like consuming the blood of that foul man, and turning it into my strength. I always liked the deep red of the sweet wines, and preferred those especially in this goblet. I even took to bringing the goblet with me to inn's and pubs when I went drinking.
I no longer have that goblet.... it was... broken, shattered upon the meeting of the ones who would help me find my destiny. Whatever strength it had given me was no longer needed, and so it broke its spell on me. I think of that goblet... now and then. But I am glad for it being gone, for now I know it was not life... not strength it gave me, but power... and unhealthy power that fed off my dark studies. I still study, and I still long for that power, but I have found a new way to harness it... and this one cannot be broken by merely shattering a glass.