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Astralon

Astralon

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Nov 8, 2021, 15:4211/08/21
03/02/21
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Astralon


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It is known far and wide that Lumaya had created her faithful herald - the Arbiter - to serve as the protector of Teleria when she herself could not interfere in mortal affairs. Lesser known are the Champions of the young races, uplifted to immortality for their deeds, or angelic spirits brought into being to help the Arbiter fulfill her mission. Astralon is one such creature. He was the winged bearer of Lumaya’s word and the bringer of righteous wrath, whose name inspired terror in the hearts of the unholy.

As the Arbiter’s emissary, Astralon sought out heroes worthy of joining her cause in eons past. As her Strategos, he led mighty warhosts to do battle with the vile Demonspawn of Siroth in defense of younger races. Triumphant at every turn, he knew neither fear nor doubt, and duty was all that gave him joy; yet even an angel is powerless when his heart rebels against the mind.

At the height of the Great Wars - a time of realm-shattering conflict between the forces of Darkness and Light millennia ago - Astralon’s army clashed with the legions of Countess Lix, the Mistress of Plagues. For months the hosts were engaged in an intricate dance of maneuver and ruse, and neither general gained an advantage over the other. Brutal skirmishes erupted across the bloodied plains, and the Demon Countess taunted Astralon in missive her imps delivered almost daily.

Frustrated and impressed in equal measure, Astralon committed his warriors to the pursuit and cut deep into enemy territory. Many a trap he had evaded through cunning of his own, many battles he fought against overwhelming odds only to triumph once more. Lix too grew to respect her foe begrudgingly and brought her strongest minions against him. It was all in vain. Driven as they were by their Strategos’ will, the warriors of Light proved stronger than whatever evil schemes she conjured. 

In the end, Astralon cornered the legions under Lix’s command near the southern coast of Krokhan, and a decisive battle began. Both sides fought with vicious abandon, turning the tide of war several times before Astralon himself spearheaded the final attack that was meant to put an end to the Mistress of Plagues once and for all.

Their vanguards clashed, and mighty warriors perished on both sides while Astralon and Lix crossed blades amid the swirling melee. What passed between them is lost to legend, but it is known the angel proved to be stronger and triumphed after a long duel, albeit he too suffered terrible wounds and could barely stand. At that critical moment, Astralon could not bring himself to take his adversary’s life. Horrified, he realized that he had come to love the Countess over these months. Her wicked intelligence, her determination and strength, her eerie beauty struck a chord within him, and Astralon could not resist her. And yet he could not give in either, for he was a creature of Lumaya and it was his duty to protect the realms of mortals.

Thus Astralon forced his defeated foe to accept a new fate - that of service to the Goddess as one of her Champions - unwilling though Lix was at first. But he too could no longer serve as he did before. Recognizing his own weakness, Astralon abandoned his place at the Arbiter’s side and implored her to bind his soul to a Champion’s Shard. It was the only way he believed he could atone and stay close to the creature he had come to love. 

To this day, Astralon nurtures a vain hope of truly redeeming Lix, while she likewise seeks to bring him into the embrace of Darkness. Neither succeeded for many thousands of years, but their twisted relationship endures - a strange alliance of sin and piety that only the mightiest of summoners can hope to bring to their cause. 

There are many creatures populating the harsh arctic wastes of Telerian North, curious and dangerous in equal measure. It is no surprise that trolls, resilient and stubborn as they are, have carved out a little niche in these inhospitable lands as well. And whereas other denizens of Teleria would often require their ingenuity and crafts to survive the perpetual cold, their natural affinity to magic allowed trolls to adjust in a far more drastic manner just as it did with their cousins dwelling in the mountains and the swamps to the south.

Rather than fight the cold, these trolls embraced it quite literally. Crystals of pure ice protrude from their skin, forming tough natural armour. Their skin is as cold as ice to the touch and, when the troll makes a conscious effort of channelling its inner magicks, that may be enough to encase even large creatures in shackles of ice. Frostskins often use this innate ability to hunt or to defend themselves against daring adventurers who happen to cross their path. Curiously, these trolls are also capable of channelling their power to stem bleeding wounds, albeit at the cost of numbing the limbs of whoever they help in this manner, for they never quite lose their chilling touch.

The numerous caves or burrows dotting the landscape allow Frostskins to find dwelling with ease. There they hide and gorge themselves away from the eyes of rivals and predators large enough to present actual danger. It is said Frostskins, like other trolls, are naturally drawn to items of magic and will often seek to hoard various arcane trinkets in their lairs. Many Champions venture into the polar deserts in hopes of recovering something of value. And many find themselves facing enraged Frostskins, who protect their ‘collections’ with the ferocity of a dragon. 

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