Legacy of Tears
Lady Iarien Herond
Beautiful and cunning Lady of Court and Priestess of the Goddess
Iarien is the child of Duke Lucian Herond and Princess Yasha Fal Tannor. The Duke has always been a stoic and sensible nobleman, which has resulted in some curiosity as to how he had ever won the Princess’ hand in marriage. Princess Yasha was said to not only be a care free spirit, but she was also positioned to become High Priestess of the Fal Tannor Temple of the Goddess. Iarien prefers to believe that it was some form of adventurous true love that turned her mother’s eye, rather than some arranged marriage by the Queen.
Regardless, the Princess gave Lucian many years of happiness and two children – a “touched” dim witted son named Eldryn, and a year later, a daughter. Unfortunately, Iarien’s mother died bringing her into this world, and the Duke’s spinster sister, Lady Dalia (a kind and patient, if overly sensible woman), came to help raise her nephew and neice. Though occasionally distant, there was never any doubt that Lucien loved his children. They wanted for nothing.
The young nobles of Fal Tannor are sent to the palace for a number of years to learn how to be proper lords and laddies. It was horrible. Iarien craved adventure to a fault. However, at the palace, they discouraged the young ladies from spending too much time with the lads, and sweet, gentle Eldryn was treated poorly by the other boys.
One day, Iarien heard from the palace staff that two other outcast boys, her Royal cousin Ronan thought too soft, and an odd, little gnome bastard named Milo Boggs, stood up to the larger boys who were beating Eldryn. Somehow, even gentle Eldryn entered the fight, and the three of them held off the five larger boys until the staff arrived to separate them. Iarien heard that the bullies were plotting their revenge. Well, there would be none of that.
Using trinkets from her belongings as payment, as well as a batted eye, a few tears, and a kiss or two to some of the older guards, Iarien made sure the bullies were singled out and thrashed. She made sure they knew why too, and nobody ever bothered Eldryn and his new friends again. Though ever so proud, Iarien kept this secret. The boys would be crestfallen to know she saved them.
Quite often Iarien would slip away to spend time with Eldryn and his new friends. They quickly became her friends as well. Cousin Ronan is a sweetheart. He once stole Iarien’s heart with a song that made her cry all the next day. It was a little while until Iarien realized her love was brotherly rather than some star flung romance. Milo is a riot. He’s a genius, and yet plenty stupid. He was always the first to agree to Iarien’s crazy adventure plans. Eldryn was always the last to agree, and rightly so as they often ended in some painful punishments.
After Iarien’s time at Court, the Prince and Milo entered the Academy to learn magic and music and other silly things, while she was sent to the Temple of the Goddess. Iarien dreaded it at first, but there she learned the connectedness of all things in the Living Realm. She learned powers and secrets and patience and wisdom to curb her reckless ways. While many of the priests and priestesses were helpful, Iarien soon became apprenticed to the High Priestess herself. High Priestess (or sometimes simply Lady) Erianna Nalarian is the greatest woman Iarien has ever met. Iarien adores her. Her powers give her something called the Sight of the Goddess, providing magical visions and enhancements to her already considerable knowledge. As High Priestess of Fal Tannor, she is one of the most influential Priestesses of the faith (save for the mysterious Dau-wa, who resides in the Whispering Wood). Erianna has taken a number of girls as apprentices, and Iarien, for the most part, got along with her temple sisters.
Then one day, Erianna told Iarien of her past. She was once like a sister to Iarien’s mother. Both were in the running to become the next High Priestess. Both had matters of Love they would not be able to share with their Love of the Goddess. Iarien’s mother chose the love of a man, while Erianna became the ruler of the Order. She misses Iarien’s mother constantly, and part of her regrets her decision. But she would not change a thing. Things happen for a reason. Just as Iarien was sent to the Temple for a reason. Just as she dealt with those thuggish noble boys for a reason (Iarien was never sure how she found out about that). She sees so much of Iarien’s mother in her and wants her to share in her training – training Erianna has learned as well. The Temples are more than just guiding bastions of faith. They have other influences on the Realm. Priests and Priestesses are taught darker arts of combat and secrecy and manipulation. They operate unknown to all but a select few in the Order. Sometimes they gather secrets. Sometimes they do other tasks. Sometimes they end lives.
It may very well come that to produce an heir, Iarien will be asked to marry for the good of the House. Although she does not know what she will do should that day come, Iarien has spent years learning the Temple’s dark secrets, and has become an agent of the High Priestess – her Lady. The Duke would be devastated if he ever found out. Iarien’s not exactly sure what Eldryn would think either, though he has never once gotten mad at his sister. Iarien has a divine duty to protect the Earth Mother and all her children, and now has greater tools at her command.
To Iarien’s surprise, as her first mission, Erianna has reunited Iarien with her childhood friends. The Prince and Milo are being sent to the northern borders to toughen them up (the Goddess knows they could use it!). The High Priestess is sending Iarien for their spiritual guidance, and with several coded messages for the northern High Priestess. She also wants Iarien to protect the Prince. She cannot tell exactly what plans the Goddess has for him, but sees him beginning the Path of his Journey. He will need protection, and someone who can do the things that he cannot.
Erianna says that this is also a reward for Iarien completing her training.
“Enjoy the adventure, and have fun with your friends,” she says. “There will come dark days that you will need these fond memories.”
Iarien packs her things and prepares for a teary-eyed farewell to her family.