A Light in Darkness
Lady of the Lake
The Lady of the Lake is known to be able to change her form but has previously appeared as a human sized delicate female. She has greenish kelp-like hair and the clammy bluish-white skin of the recently drowned. Her face is a mask of anger and frustration, her eyes are blue and flecked with gold. She wears an elegant gossamer gown.
The history of the Lady of the Lake is wrapped in myth. Ages ago, she spontaneously arose from the waters of a vast mountain lake. For centuries, she served as the lake’s guardian in a time where humans were but recent arrivals to a land already old. She watched aloofly as mortals flitted along her shores. The occasional mortal would seek her out to pay tribute, but for the most part they simply let her be.
The Avanc was a hermit seer who fished on the northern shore. Alone among mortals, the Avanc caught the Lady’s eye and they fell deeply in love. They were content in their solitude, and their joy only increased when the Lady revealed that she was with child.
One day, soon after, while the Lady was at the far end of her lake, an evil fey came to the Avanc, seeking guidance in the pursuit of some dreadful task. The Avanc insulted the dark spirit, saying that if the world held any justice, the fey would never achieve its goals. The vengeful fey direly cursed the Avanc, transforming him into a reptilian terror. The Lady was horrified when she found her lover, but she soon understood that his gentle spirit was intact, despite his monstrous form. She promised to restore the Avanc, somehow, someday.
In those days, the aristocratic Demnach clan lived on the Lady’s lake, on an island just large enough to hold their tiny keep. Although the clan had dwindled over the generations, they were virtuous folk, best personified by the paladin Ione Demnach. In the months following the Avanc’s transformation, Ione heard many tales of the “lake dragon” and eventually saw the scaly monster for himself. Mistakenly assuming the Avanc to be a brutal predator, Ione sought it out in shallow water. The Avanc could not communicate with Ione, and the paladin slew the beast.
The Lady of the Lake discovered her lover’s remains at the bottom of her lake. She swore undying vengeance against the Demnachs, but she knew she could not defeat Ione alone. The Lady left her lake, seeking to empower her wrath. She wandered the forests until her feet bled, eventually encountering a covey of hags. She poured out her hatred in venomous song, beseeching the wicked crones for their aid and promising to lead many victims to them in return. The hags were amused and wove unspeakable spells over her.
The covey informed the Lady that she now carried the seeds of vengeance within her. The Lady’s daughter would be a sorcerer of exceptional beauty and power, but she would burn through her entire lifetime within a short span. The girl, Katherine, was soon born and reached adulthood within a few years. Katherine sought out Ione and seduced him within Demnach Keep. Just as the Lady had planned, Ione’s wife discovered them together and fled in shame. As she wept by the lakeside, the Lady appeared to her, offering to escort her to a faerie kingdom beneath the waves where her pain could not follow. The woman took the Lady’s hand. Ione Demnach found his wife drowned the next day.
Katherine fled the keep as quickly as possible as her youth and beauty were fleeing her. She soon gave birth to Ione’s son, whom the Lady named Madchen. Madchen was a hulking, fish-like caliban, a feral brute who grew ever as his mother waned. The lady groomed him into a vessel of hatred. One year after Katherine had seduced Ione, the Lady sent her offspring to destroy the last Demnach and all within his home. Katherine, now aged and frail, was quickly felled by the guards’ arrows, but Madchen proved oblivious to pain. He smashed through walls and tore guards apart. In the end, only Ione and Madchen remained. After a bitter duel, Madchen was slain and Ione was mortally wounded. As Demnach lay dying, the Lady came in, sweetly promising to cure his wounds with a magic potion made from her lake’s waters. Instead, it was the last of the hag’s gifts. The potion would deny its drinker death, but it would neither cure wounds nor ease pain. After Ione drank, the Lady coldly promised to stay by his side forever — to keep him in eternal agony.
As the Lady sang of her victory, Ione closed his eyes and thought of his wife. The Mists rose to engulf the island. When they parted a moment later, the Lady’s surroundings had drastically changed. Demnach Keep now lay in total ruin, obviously long-abandoned. Ione was little more than dry bones. The Lady’s vengeance was forever denied, and she could never leave.
Player Reflections & Thoughts
¿thoughts surrounded by question marks are hypotheses?
- ¿Eventually any man the Lady “loves”, and tortures, becomes an Avanc.?
- ¿All those trapped become Avancs including Ione?
- We need to bring all together (supported by Esera’s divination and Ablion’s vision)
- Ione is denied death due to potion/curse and did not escape. He can not be cured or have his pained ease. He may be “unthinking” as per Ablion vision. ¿He needs curse removed?
- ¿All Avancs need to be brought in?
- ¿First Avanc’s body/drawing is at castle?
- ¿The dark fey who cursed the Avanc is probably one of the fey antagonists we know of, likely the one who was after the sword. Not worth trying to make a deal there.?
- Putting dead bodies or fresh blood in the lake does not cause the Avanc to appear.
- Anybody who dies on the lake can become an Avanc?
- There is only one Avanc at a time? A new dead man is cursed whenever the previous Avanc is killed?
- Bringing an Avanc to the island will end the curse, revealing the man behind the Avanc, and dooming the Lady, now sane and returned to her normal form to death by sadness. Those that die on the lake are no longer doomed to become monsters?
- Why does the castle have an Avanc on its floor?