Y is for Yeuthania #atozchallenge

The third member of the Maidens (the other two being Cadaveria and Necrotia). Yeuthania is a powerful Necromancer who, like many others, is drawn to the potent arcane nature of the Grey Isles.

She is responsible for the creation, empowerment, maintenance and upkeep of the Isles’ many abominations, such as the Ettin and the Wights serving the Janissary. Yeuthania spends most of her time among the ruins or the crypts under the palace. Occasionally she captures one of the Lemures for her morbid experiments.

This woman is insatiably curious; ever exploring, observing and experimenting. In another age she would have made a fine scientist, albeit a cruel and heartless one.

She is frequently at odds with Cadaveria and her coven: their realms of sorcery often conflict and they often dispute over who gets access to the unholy sites ripe with magic at rare parts of the month or year.

What is Yeuthania’s relationship with the Grey King?

  1. Wife: her marriage to the Grim Monarch was arranged; the Clerics of the the Dark Light wished for a union of their order with House Grey Isle. She couldn’t care less about the King, but has always been thrilled to have complete freedom to pursue her morbid research. She has a vested interest in protecting the Grey Isles from intruders; the place is a veritable goldmine for those of her kind.
  2. Sister: she is the King’s twin. Resentful of being denied the crown by virtue of her gender, she has kept herself occupied by study of the dark arts. Occasionally she aids the enemies of the Grey Isles because she wants her brother to fail. She would be pleased if he died and would assist any conspiracy to remove him from the throne (as long as she can take it for herself once the blood has been washed away).
  3. Mistress: Yeuthania was the first of the King’s secret lovers. In reality, she used the King to access his incredible library; she wanted to learn necromantic rituals to resurrect a deceased loved one (lover? husband? child?). In time she actually grew to care for the man, but as irony would have it, her new feelings of affection were too late: he had become smitten with another (possibly Cadaveria, if the nature of her relationship to the King is a Mistress as well). Regardless, she was eventually able to distract her love-sickness with study and ritual.
  4. Daughter: Yeuthania resents her family immensely when the King and Queen split. It felt like a betrayal. For years she has been secretly taking control of all Undead creatures on or around the Grey Isles. She is the true Lady now: the King and Queen are entirely delusional about their sense of control. Ultimately, the Isles have chosen those two as rulers and Yeuthania might one day find herself betrayed by the very land that gave her such potent magic…

Yeuthania Zombies

The necromancer’s trademark creation is a formidable minion. It resembles a grey, ash-coated corpse of a drowned being bearing a single glowing rune on it’s forehead. Its eyes are smoky black pits.

These Zombies can extend their arms to over 10 feet away and their  grip is bitterly cold and strong.

As they pursue their quarry, they always maintain a closing proximity; no matter how fast or far their targets flee, when they look back they’ll find the monsters just as close (or closer). They bend reality in this way through fierce necromantic sorcery.

Yeuthania Zombies feed via a long, hollow tube that extends from the grotesque hole that passes for a mouth in its face. They have the life-draining abilities of a Vampire.

Such Zombies have the regenerative properties of a Troll and can only be permanently destroyed by total immersion into the Lake surrounding the Grey Isles.

R is for Ronové #atozchallenge

Still the wind was blowing soft and gentle here under the oak
Which gave me shelter and rested for my trial
I’m not strong, weak is my mind, a new beginning, where to find?
I’m the last one on earth, please forgive us our crime, oh, oh

Under the Oak by Candlemass

The crumbling ruins surrounding the palace, and the tangled maze of vines, thorn bushes and creeping moss, give the place a dishevelled, abandoned feeling. But this appearance is carefully maintained by a strange looking fellow named Ronové.

He is the groundskeeper of the palace’s grim exterior and courtyards. He feeds the sinister flowers, tends to the vines and ensures that the Black Maples are properly tapped for their bloody sap.

While he takes orders from Desdemonia, he is completely autonomous; he loves his routine and cares deeply for the well being of the gardens. He can be seen outside at just about all times and seems completely oblivious to anyone unless spoken to or if they have harmed any of the plants on the Isle.

Anyone who deliberately or even accidentally harms the plant life or upsets the gardens will invoke his wrath. While he is bent and crooked, his strength is devastating. He’ll either attempt to kill the intruders with his enchanted sickle (magical, always does maximum damage to anyone who’s consciously touched any of the flowers in the ruins) or he’ll drag them to the nearest well to become the latest addition of the Lemures. For the latter he also makes sure that their “Moon Well” is always clear of overhanging vines or other obstructions.

While he is completely deaf, he can sense the presence of other beings like a spider can sense vibrations in her web. He has an almost psychic connection to the plants on the Grey Isles and can sense moving individuals through the vegetation and earth.

He spends his nights in a little shack attached to an old oak tree that has grown into it. The shack is filthy, musty and full of overhanging gourds and roots. Inside of that cramped place is the object that Ronové cherishes the most in all of the world: his Ghost Lotus, a plant worth a King’s ransom to experts in poisons or dark magic rituals.

On his forehead is a symbol that betrays his nature: it is the sigil of a demon to whom Ronové owes his name and his life. Their bond is mysterious and incomprehensible. However, the way that he weeps and berates himself at night for some past misdeed may reveal some clues.

If, somehow, someone is able to speak with him, he will seem surprised and explain that he thought that he was the last man on earth… If asked why he weeps at night, he tells of some vague crime that he committed in response to an even greater misdeed by all of humanity (who have been damned eternally).

Q is for Queen #atozchallenge

Hellcome to the land of the dead
Truth dies here and reborn somewhere else
Feel the tension to the back of your head
Seek down for something which is died away
Rapid downfall passed from abyss seeking answers

– Queen of the Damned by Astarte

The Grey Isles fester in a cool, dark lake with no name. At its bottom lies the Opal City, a realm of dread where souls wander and darkness prevails.

Ruling over this sombre, aquatic realm is the Queen of the Fossilized Throne. She parted ways from the King long ago and neither of them remember the other; only that they are tied to the Grey Isles.

She has also forgotten her name, or who she was before. Like the King, she exists in a dream-like haze but is very quick to anger. She has great wisdom and insight into the hearts of mortals. Her Black Iron Crown was forged with the blood of a Gorgon and the venom of a Manticore. She has no sorcery other than the ability to see into the souls of people in her realm. She is formidable with her spear, Jormungand, which is made of the fossilized teeth of a Megalodon.

Entry into the Opal City, her realm, is done by three ways:

  1. Being a victim of the Fuath, her handmaidens.
  2. Dying on the Grey Isles
  3. Foolishly venturing into her realm on purpose.

The latter (those who deliberately seek her counsel or to rescue a lost soul) must do so by walking the Flaming Stair from the shore. This mythical staircase only exists on New Moon nights. Those descending the steps are protected from the Fuath, from drowning and from the deep pressure and cold of the lake. They are then free to walk about the Opal city unharmed. Until they meet the Queen.

For walking the Flaming Stair means that your soul becomes forfeit to her. Any of her spells automatically succeed against such targets. She delights in killing those who do not know her name (which is always the first question that she asks to visitors).

Those who’ve descended into the Opal City via the Flaming Stair can walk about freely as if there was no water at all. They do not breathe, but can still speak. However, they have only until sunrise to leave again (by ascending the Flaming Stairs). If they stay too long, the effects suddenly and fatally cease and they will find themselves at the bottom of a muddy, dangerously cold lake.