Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Lore: The Tayrathian Exodus

Hey Everyone!  Recently Doug over at the 2+ Tough channel ran a lore competition where he had people write a narrative story within the realm of Age of Sigmar.  His Patreon patrons read and voted to determine some lucky winners to have their stories featured on an episode of Doug’s channel.  I didn't make the cut sadly, but congratulations to all the winners and thanks to Doug for running the contest!

Today I want to share my submitted entry for you all to enjoy.  The lore piece features, as you might have guessed, the one and only Tayrathi!  Tayrathi having had and her cult forced to abandon their Temple home in Ghyran, has made a long exodus to a potential settlement outside the Free City of Anvilguard.  The tale picks up as Tayrathi is finalizing the terms of her cults settlement with members of the cities ruling council.  Also, check out the maps below of Tayrathi's journey and enjoy the story after the break.  Happy Hobbying!

A hot Aqshian wind blew through the opening of Tayrathi Bloodsilver’s command tent. The warm air danced around her figure, lifting the gossamer gown from her body as it moved. It was a gentle warmth, calling her back to a simpler time as a child – playing with her siblings on warm summer evenings. Tayrathi closed her eyes, embracing the distant memory. Her mind swam as she hunted for the briefest glimpse of her family’s faces.  They retreated, like sand escaping a clenched fist. What remained was a single pair of piercing eyes.
“Always those damned eyes.” She whispered, wiping away a tear that was threatening to fall down her cheek.
 Tayrathi, being of aelven blood, knew that memories would fade over her long life. Recently however, she had grown aware that she was forgetting much more than felt natural. Having no one to truly confide, she only had these brief moments of attempted recollection. A thousand years of life had passed into distant dreams, all except for those white eyes.
“They are simply old and useless memories.” She said in complete dismissal.  “Nothing more, nothing less.”
These ruminations were a distraction. A weakness she had indulged for far too long. But perhaps they were a test from Khaine, so she could overcome who she once was, and fulfill her destiny as The True Bride of Khaine.  Her divine mission to resurrect Khaine was all that mattered in her heart now.  Through her force of will and a chance accident with Aethermy, Tayrathi had been reborn.
“No, not reborn. Awakened.”  Tayrathi corrected her thoughts aloud.
In her heart, she knew she had always been Tayrathi, but had not known the truth for much of her life.  After her awakening, Tayrathi had risen to claim leadership of The Taylothian Temple, now renamed The Tayrathian Cult.  She had grown alongside her cult, bleeding with them, and bleeding her enemies in praise of Khaine. 
Being the divinely chosen one to resurrect Khaine, she had spent many years hunting for the various shards of his broken body. After much hardship, she challenged Morathi in order to claim Khaine’s Iron Heart to complete her heavenly quest. The shard held by her rival Keshanni has been quietly stolen and brought to her via her agents, while the shards held by H’Ka’ty the Perverse had proven to be imitations of the real thing. They were stories to dwell on another time, and right now she had much larger, more immediate concerns such as her cult’s recent exodus. 
It had been twenty-three cycles of Hysh and Ulgu since Tayrathi’s latest journey began.  Having lived her entire life in Ghyran, the goddess Alarielle had finally found cause to expel her from the realm.  Perhaps she had offended the Goddess in some way, or it may have been the rapid growth of The Tayrathian Cult that saw the Sylvaneth march upon their Temple time and time again with increasing ferocity. Despite repelling the attacks, the path ahead was clear. A new home was required, far away from the trees of wrath. The Cult began its grand exodus. It mattered little, however, Tayrathi’s revenge on Alarielle and her children could wait until Khaine had been brought forth into the realms. 
Tayrathi let a thin smile shape her lips as she thought of the Soulpod she had claimed in the final battle before her migration.  It now sat at the heart of her old temple, sealed within a vessel of her own blood. 
“Enjoy that gift, Everqueen.” Tayrathi quipped, spitting out the final word as she turned her attention back to the present.
Tayrathi was due to meet with the ruling Council of Anvilgard to finalize the terms for settlement of The Tayrathian Cult near the city proper.  The Council had enjoyed making Tayrathi and her followers languish in the makeshift city of tents the cult currently called home, pushing off the finalization of terms seemingly in perpetuity.  Tayrathi had played their game for long enough, today the council would find her entire cult arrayed for war. She was fully willing to create mutually beneficial terms for her cult and the city of Anvilgard, but she had grown tired of the Council’s games. The game would end today, through peace or bloodshed.
“Look what you made me do!”  Tayrathi quipped as she stepped out of her command tent to await her guests.
Hysh burned high in the fire-red sky, warming Tayrathi’s skin.  Even as her eyes adjusted to the light, she could sense a sudden stillness in the air. There was no city of tents before her as there were hours before, in its place was every Khainite worshiper under her command standing at the ready.  All were in full war regalia with sharpened blades in hand, waiting for Tayrathi’s word to unleash them.  The only gap in the sea of Khainites was a small path to allow the Council of Anvilgard a narrow avenue leading directly to Tayrathi’s command tent.  The three council members were currently making their way towards her doing a poor job of appearing confident in the face of Tayrathi’s display.
“My humblest greetings Tayrathi.”  Offered the Aelf known as Vacet Doomreaver through a thin smile.  Vacet was a high ranking Fleetmaster who made Anvilgard their home port.  He walked with more confidence than his counterparts, but it was clear he was not as confident as he attempted to appear.
“We look for...forward to settling the terms of your settlement ...today.”  Stammered a Human that Tayrathi referred to as Richmut Goebel as he carried more useless titles than she cared to remember.  He had been the nervous type in their previous meetings, but today he was having a much harder time hiding that fact.
The third member of the council was a Duardin known as Noler Ironsides.  He appeared typical in his people’s stature and demeanor, and to his credit was the only one of the three who didn’t seem all that bothered by the horde surrounding him.  He kept quiet but offered a quick nod.
 “Councilmen, it is always an honor to welcome you to-”  Tayrathi paused quickly rethinking her next words.  “...to the future home of The Tayrathian Cult.  Please come inside so we can finalize the terms of the settlement and place the first brick in the foundation of our new partnership.”
Tayrathi led the Councilmen inside. As her eyes readjusted, she quickly scanned the trio for any weapons they might have slipped past her guards.  She noted concealed implements on the aelf and the duardin, but the man was empty-handed.  ‘Typical.’  She thought as she took a seat at the modest table in the center of the tent’s main cabin.  The table was carved from a single piece of Ghyranian Oak with a large inset bowl at its center, tinted red by remnants of blood. The councilmen followed suit.
Tayrathi remained silent, wanting the councilmen to make the first move. Richmut was the first to break the silence.
“High Priestess, we have...agreed to permit you the land to settle your, uh, followers as an outpost of Anvilgard.”  The man said as sweat began beading on his brow.
“However, we will require a tribute of troops to maintain residence within the city barracks.”  Vacet added quickly.  “We will also expect you and your ‘cult’ to contribute to the commerce and community.  Integration if you will, to our culture.”
Noler remained silent, satisfied with what he was hearing from his counterparts.
Tayrathi pondered for a moment, giving the perception she was mulling over the terms.  In truth she knew what they would be offering and had played out this conversation hundreds of times in her mind.
“I appreciate the generosity of your terms.  My cult and I have come to enjoy these lands from our extended time ‘camping’ you have allowed us to enjoy.  I have an elite coven of Witch Aelves already selected as a tribute, but I suggest an alternative to their living conditions.”  Tayrathi began pausing to watch the councilmen shift uncomfortably.  “I propose my cult build a cathedral in dedication to Khaine within the city where they can shepherd any who wish to offer worship to my god.  I feel this would be a splendid way to allow us to integrate while also collecting tithes to offer…to appropriate parties”.
Slowly the councilmen began nodding their agreement as the prospect of gold and threat of a painful death encouraging them.  Knowing she held the power she began adding additional terms that were more in her favor.  The councilmen continued nodding without complaint for the next several hours.
 “I am glad there will be no bad blood between us councilmen.”  Tayrathi said ending the negotiations, offering the group a vicious smile. 
The councilmen, with a final nod of agreement, took their leave hurrying along the same avenue they used before, The Tayrathian cult still standing in silence.  Tayrathi, while watching them leave, looked up into the night sky, a pair of eyes entering her mind.