Liralian

The immortal Lady Liralian, ruler of the Court of BarezethLiralian is the Esu Ankaykari who rules the Court of Barezeth. She believes that the greatest strength lies in virtue and she longs to see the Ankaykari become a nobler people.

Over the years, Liralian endeavored to build a new society based on compassion and respect for the weak. However, her concern for others often overwhelmed her judgment and led her to act impulsively. Like most Esu, she dreamed of ruling both Askamar and Udaris, because she could not imagine a world without the traditional Ankaykari hierarchy.

Liralian’s rivals considered her an idealistic fool, while for a long time the Nayusuru did not believe she had the strength to change anything. It was only since the fall of Shekruvaris that people started to truly respect her.

Liralian is a person of great passion and integrity. As one of the Nine Esu, she feels burdened by the power she wields, and she spends much time grappling with the moral dilemmas of leadership. Some call her a ‘weak’ ruler, but she is courageous in battle, and is always ready to come to the aid of her allies, mortal and immortal alike. Despite many defeats and betrayals, she has never stopped striving to do what she considers right.

Mundane Lands

Liralian originally ruled only two small kingdoms in UdarisDanyubao in the east and Gabuwesu in the west – but she became increasingly drawn into the power-struggles of the mundane world during the Ceyth-Janzarian Wars.

Liralian felt tormented by the suffering that afflicted the Udaris and wanted to bring justice to the human lands. In 982 EA she founded the Tuyaz-Oan empire with the help of Prince Farauquan Ghaz Ahaya, hoping that she could spread her ideals throughout the mundane world even if she had so far failed in Askamar.

Although she hates war, Liralian has taken part in several fierce mundane conflicts, including the fall of Janakeza, Songatya’s War (known in Askamar as the Tan Anguhan war) and the Blood Sea Wars (known in Askamar as the Gahuzan Wars). Some historians argue that it was her involvement in the Eoradhan War that cost her the Sovereignty in 1225 EA.

Nayusuru Servants

Liralian expects her Nayusuru servants to be utterly devoted to her cause, but she also believes that everyone deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect. Unlike most Esu, she values virtues such as patience and compassion above prowess in battle.

Liralian’s enemies sneer at her ideals, but many Nayusuru have felt drawn to Barezeth – including the renown warriors Zotharan and Xessuralen. However, the most steadfast of Liralian’s servants is Erulorian.

Erulorian brings little glory to the court, for she is a poor fighter, but Liralian appreciates her for her other qualities: loyalty, patience and kindness. Over the years, she has often reflected that Erulorian is the one who truly holds the Court of Barezeth together.

Alliances and Rivalries

Liralian’s closest friend among the Esu is Lord Yazelern. He shares her ideals but also worries about her emotional welfare, for he sees how burdened she feels. Liralian is frustrated by his caution and his ‘pragmatic’ political maneuverings, but she is grateful to have him as a friend and heart-warmed by his concern her.

Lord Tassedehami also supports many of Liralian’s ambitions and has aided her over the years. She finds him an unpredictable ally – sometimes coldly calculating, sometimes over-emotional, sometimes recklessly brave and sometimes craven – but at least he appreciates what she is tying to achieve, unlike most of the Esu.

Liralian had many enemies during the Ceyth-Janzarian Wars, for she did nothing to conceal the anger that she felt towards most of her rank. In her opinion, the other Esu were arrogant, callous towards the weak and blinded by their hunger for power. Liralian accused her enemies of treating their Nayusuru servants no better than slaves, and she hated the way mortals were shown so little respect by their Ankaykari rulers.

Liralian hoped that, if she became sovereign, she would be able to show the others that an Esu does not need to rule through fear, but their constant mockery wearied her. Ruzenathra, Daskesurul and Naskremari regarded Liralian as a self-righteous, idealistic fool, while Saroparel worried that her ideas will bring anarchy to the realm. However, the most fearsome of her enemies was Mormariul, who called her a manipulative hypocrite.

History

For centuries, Liralian was considered one of the more reclusive Esu. She spent her time reading moralistic works, composing books upon her philosophy, and governing the small kingdoms of Danyubao and Gabuwesu. The cruelty of Askamaran society disgusted her, and she wished to have no part in its battles.

Liralian was seldom seen at the Royal Court during the Sovereignty of Janzaris, for she had begun work on her multi-volume History of the Ankaykari. Everyone was surprised, therefore, when the renowned Nayusuru warrior Zotharan chose serve her. They often disagreed, but Liralian always treated him graciously, hoping he would come to respect her ideals. She was furious when he betrayed her the moment war resumed.

The Ceyth-Janzarian Wars were traumatic for Liralian, for Barezeth was under constant threat. It was during this time that she developed a close bond with Lord Takanepi. He seemed a sensitive and thoughtful ruler, and he shared her longing to see peace restored. They often met in the Vale of Ilayath where they discussed their dreams of a more compassionate society. Over time they fell in love.

Lady Mormariul was deeply jealous of their bond. Even after Takanepi persuaded her and Liralian to ally, they continued to quarrel. Liralian considered Mormariul vicious, selfish and arrogant, while Mormariul called her a self-righteous hypocrite.

Liralian’s disgust intensified to hatred when Mormariul fell under the influence of the human wizard Hakenar. However, it was only when their mortal armies faced each other in Tan Anguha that Liralian realized how deranged her rival had become.

Takanepi refused to forsake his alliance with Mormariul. When Liralian tried to have Mormariul imprisoned in Garashent for breaking the Laws of Nenathal, he thwarted her, saying that it would plunge Mormariul’s Vanotaquan empire into turmoil. Liralian told herself that Takanepi was just horribly misguided, but she felt betrayed.

During the final years of the Truce of Elanthar, Liralian built up her power, gaining the allegiance of the Nayusuru Olemnashial and Xessuralen. Both Yazelern and Tassedehami seemed willing to become her vassals, giving her hope that she might finally achieve her dream of becoming sovereign. However, she still had to face Ruzenathra.

Ruzenathra struck while Liralian was caught up in a war in Eoradha, conquering Yazelern’s Citadel. Although Liralian courageously led an alliance against her, it collapsed due to Saroparel’s treachery, and she was forced to become a vassal in the Royal Court of Shekruvaris.

The new peace was shattered when Mormariul stole Scepter of Xathun, destroyed Liralian’s Citadel and dragged Liralian back to Gennezra, where she inflicted terrible torments upon her. In the end Mormariul’s Citadel was stormed and she threw herself into the Abyss, but Liralian remained a broken wreck for years afterwards.

Erulorian tried to govern the Tuyaz-Oan empire on Liralian’s behalf, but she could not protect it from the injustices of Ruzenathra’s regime, and it eventually rose up against Shekruvaris. When Liralian sought to help her former subjects – almost killing Takanepi’s son Mendaran, who had been sent to subdue the revolt – she was imprisoned in Garashent.

Liralian felt crushed when she finally emerged. Tuyaz-Oa had collapsed, all her dreams had failed, and she had destroyed thousands of lives in her attempt to help mortal-kind. She no longer believed that she had the wisdom to rule Askamar or Udaris.

Feeling that she had nothing left to lose, Liralian went to the mundane world to help the Danyubaons, who were still fighting for their freedom. Zotharan hoped she would proclaim herself Sovereign when he stole the Scepter of Xathun for her. Instead, she threw the Royal Scepter into the Abyss.

Liralian’s court had been divided among Ruzenathra’s more favored vassals during the Sovereignty of Shekruvaris, but now Erulorian was free to return to her. Zotharan also rejoined Barezeth, for he wished to be reunited with Erulorian. This time he treated Liralian with courtesy, for she had finally won his respect.

Over the decades, Liralian rebuilt her Citadel. She resumed work on her History of the Ankaykari, and she also began composing a new collection of poetry in an attempt to overcome the traumas she had endured. Although she has largely withdrawn from Askamar’s politics, her vision of a more just society remains an inspiration to others.

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