Listen now you dreamers and you walkers of the spire. Listen now, for I will tell a tale of tears and woe; the tale of Dwynian, a gleaming star, who shone as only stars could shine - and fell as only they could fall.
It was the end of the first age of Rathir, when Anathon ruled from spiretop, and all harkened to his word. Among the fisher-folk below was born a babe, whom they named Dwynian - named after the lace of white that caps the water's waves. At five days she showed the spark of magic; and at five years her powers were so great that she was brought among the pupils who sat at Anathon's feet. Ten years she studied the wisdom of Lyria's gift, there, and from Anathon himself gained mastery of the art. At fifteen years of age no mage atop the spire was alf as cunning, wise, or strong as Dwynian. No girl in Rathir was half as fair.
One day as Dwynian went down the stairs that wind around our Spire, she spied the guards assembled down below. Their helms and swords sparkled in the sun. Once hundred of them stood there. One hundred soldiers bold and proud. But let us speak plainly, for all there could have been a thousand, Dwynian saw only one- His name was Ranu and he was lovely to behold.
That night a sweet, sad song drifted from the Spiretop. And though he did not know it, the song was meant for him - for Ranu - as he paced upon the battlements below. When he retired from his post, he found flowers upon his door. Nor were the flowers cut pinned. The door itself had come to life and green stalks sprouted from its frame. In the morning when he rose, a songbird from some exotic land perched in his window. It sang to him the sweetest song and showed no fear him at all. When he passed a fountain pool, in its depth he saw two haunting eyes. Beautiful eyes. Eyes he had seen somewhere before. And so it went for four days, with flowers, and birds, and other signs. On the fifth day, in the reflection of his sword, he spied her - spied Dwynian - standing far behind him, watching him with eyes that could pierce stone. Eyes he knew. On the fifth day, Ranu climbed the spire and found her at its top. "It is you" he said. "Yes, she said, it is I." And she knew the love that had struck her heart had smitten his as well.
On the eve of the fifth day, Ailoc came. He was a whisper on the wind, a darkness on the waves, a chill over the golden plains. He blackened the cops and tore the farmers limb from limb, feasting on their bones. Then he stood outside of Rathir, raged upon the bluffs of Tywil, and dared Anathon to come forth and face him. When everyone saw that he'd done, and heard Ailoc's raging words, the guards were summoned to the gates. Every last guard was called and Ranu was among them. As he stood in all his armor he looked back and saw Dwynian, watching him with her gaze.
One hundred guards and more marched out of Rathir. But for every guard, Ailoc called thresh, boggart, and leanashe to his command. One hundred guards and more marched out of Rathir. None returned.
When everyone saw what he had done, a silence fell over Rathir. A grave look fell over Anathon's face, but he spoke no words. At last, Dwynian stood up before them. She wore robes of white, and her hair was plaited in intricate braids. 'I have mastered all the arts of magic,' she said. 'I am strong and swift and I do not know fear. If I cannot stop this scourge, who can?' Awed, no one spoke against her. Anathon's eyes clouded with sadness, then, without a word, he nodded.
Dwynian crossed the bridge and left the gates of Rathir. She strode across the blackened field and then the field of bones. She found her Ranu where he lay dying. She bent and kissed him long and sweet, but once. Then she rose and made her way toward Alioc.
His boggarts she burnt with a flick of her wrist, and his thresh she split in half with bolts of lightning. The leanashe she struck with ice and tore with knots of wind. And then she came to Ailoc. From Rathir, it was said, their fight appeared like a summer storm, with dark clouds and bright forks of lightning and growling thunderous booms. At last, it is said, she called upon the bones of the earth itself, and they sprang from the ground and cut through Ailoc like a dozen sharpened spears. When Dwynian stepped close to see that he was dead. Ailoc raised his head and freed his arm. He broke the tip from one of the spikes and hurled it at her chest. The effort tore against the spikes and cut the last of life from him. He fell motionless and dead, and never saw the spike he threw hit home, landing fatally in Dwynian's breast.
Twice was Dwynian struck in the heart. Once by love and once by hatred. From deadly heatred she crawled now, with the last of life still in her. She crawled until she reached her love, her Ranu. She kissed him one more time, wrapped her arms around him lay down her head, and died.