Lyana of Harvale, Priestess of Reeanan

Ranger by Nathan Park


Fifteen years ago, fourteen year-old Lyana's perfectly ordinary and predictable life as the only daughter of the lord of Harvale Manor in the town of Leafroar was devastated in a single hour of fire and blood. Leafroar is a small town located between Jacob's Rock and East-of-Sky, in Kelerak. Like most of the villages in that area, it still bore the scars of the in-fighting between the oluk orc bosses, or Hoth, of East-of-Sky and Jacob's Rock; the villagers lived with ever-present memories of marauding orcish soldiers (from both sides) looting and burning at will. Skirmishes between the rival orcish tribes still occurred near Leafroar with enough frequency to leave the peasants in constant fear, but young Lyana, with the naive faith of a loving daughter, was certain that her father's strength (and political machinations) could protect her family. She learned that was untrue when the Orcs came on a cool spring evening in early 8155 F.R.

The attack was no mere raid, but a swift and thorough assault with the intent to destroy, the opening move in Zebet's, the Hoth of East-of-Sky's, campaigning season. Unfortunately, Leafroar was currently a fief of Jacob's Rock, although it changed hands often. The orc warriors left nothing untouched. Many buildings were torched, many animals and peasants either slaughtered or driven back to East-of-Sky for future use. Lyana's father fell at the manorhouse door, her mother just inside it. The terrified girl and her younger brother tried to hide in an upstairs chimney, but their footsteps in the ashes and soot betrayed them, and three orc warriors, or "Dogs," pulled them out with howls of glee. The ensuing assault was brutal. After the Orcs exhausted themselves, they cut the brother's throat and left both for dead.

Lyana lay on the floor in a stupor for three days, the length of time it took Gorg, the Hoth of Jacob's Rock, and his forces to blunt Zebet's thrust and sue Brathelathor, the Lord of Sin, for intervention and recompense. She was found by a patrol of Spurite soldiers sent to Leafroar to maintain the peace (and to find livestock to feed the mismanaged metropolis of Dragonspur), and taken back to the city where she was sold on the open market. Fortunately, Adela, a secret priestess of Reeanan, bought her. The priests cared for her in their private residences as best they could, but her spirit was shattered. It was four months before she spoke her first words, "I want to die." It was another two before it was undeniably obvious that she was pregnant.

The Celestial Oath Protector was a good-hearted but strong-willed woman accustomed to dealing with the plights of the unfortunate and unaccustomed to losing. She spent hours with Lyana every day, leading her in prayer or just holding the girl as she cried. After three more months, the baby was stillborn (one of Lyana's prayers that she had not shared with the Oath Protector), and not too long after that, Lyana began picking up the pieces of her life. Her first step was to dedicate herself formally to Reeanan's service in an elaborate two-day ritual called the Ceremony of Oaths.

The next few years saw Lyana progress rapidly as an acolyte as she applied herself to her studies with extraordinary fervor. The unexpected but welcome liberation of Dragonspur increased her progress, as it freed the underground Churches of Heshtail and Reeanan to operate openly. Having shown excellent potential as a priestess, she was promoted to the rank of Deacon, outstripping her protector. She has since been assigned to the Celestial High Priest himself, and accompanies him whenever he leaves Dragonspur, most often to administer to the burgeoning church of Reeanan in Leafroar. Of course Leafroar owes the attention of the High Priest to the prodding of Lyana.

Coat of Arms of the Harvale Manor and Family: Gyronny, vert and sable, a cross couped or.

Motto: Virtuous warrior.