Nations of Lysia
The Deva Spirit Known as Ronen
The full story of Ronen’s Spirit is much too long to tell, for he is a Deva, and he has been been through countless lifetimes. However, for this tale, it is important to note the last two of his lifetimes before his current incarnation. Although Ronen, himself, may not have much recollection of these lifetimes, glimpses come to him in his dreams, at random, or when he is deep in thought. Some of these flashes depict him as a great arcane inventor and scholar, while others show a dark and shadowy life in which each vision is more terrifying than the last. Ronen does not always know the meaning of these flashes at the time of their occurrence, but he does know that there is deep importance to each one.
As mentioned, two lifetimes ago, Ronen was a great arcane inventor and scholar in a land across the Endless Sea (Aeonis knew it was not endless). In his prime, he was commonly known as Aeonis the Mechanist, and he used his scholarly studies in conjunction with his knowledge of arcane magic to construct wonderous machines. These machines had many uses, but the world never got to see the light of his inventions. At the same time that magic throughout the land seemed to vanish, a new monarch rose to power in the land that Aeonis lived. King Darius condemned magic as a dangerous uncontrollable weapon and machinery as the work of demons and devils. Aeonis was forced to hide all of his great works before the new king destroyed them. By the time King Darius made it to Aeonis’ workshop, Aeonis was patiently waiting. Aeonis was executed for High Treason against the ruler. Stories of his inventions drifted into nothing more than treasure hunting tales, but none were ever found. At the end of this life, the Deva Spirit known as Ronen today had come very close to a point of enlightenment, and while waiting in the Astral Sea, he decided that he would need one more lifetime before reaching this point.
Ronen’s next incarnation was in the continent of Lysia, and it was to lead to his ultimate spiritual triumph over the mortal plane. However, for reasons unknown to Ronen (or his Spirit), things went very differently. A powerful mage used dark magic to corrupt the sacred land where Ronen’s Spirit, along with several other Devas, was to reincarnate. The magic effectively brainwashed the reincarnated Devas immediately, and for this lifetime, the memories of their previous lifetimes were forgotten.
Ronen, known as Rhakin during this lifetime, was then brought into the ranks of a sinister cult. This cult played a pivotal part in bringing the Undead Horde into existence. Rhakin was especially cruel during this lifetime. He was charged with converting new members into the cult, and any that refused were tortured before being brutally slain by Rhakin himself. Rhakin then would send the bodies to the necromancers to strengthen the numbers of the Undead army.
When The Dark War began, Rhakin was given the title of Commander as well as a legion of Undead. Rhakin then stormed across the countryside slaying anyone that stood in his path. He laid waste to countless villages and even aided in razing cities to the ground. Rhakin was infamous for leaving no survivors, and those that were taken as prisoners were not left to that status for long. He enjoyed leaving bodies hung from trees, impaling some on pikes outside the city entrances, and other unimaginable atrocities.
Once the remaining cities were able to mobilize, Rhakin joined up with the rest of the horde in an attempt to destroy them outright. The war raged for decades, and soon, heroes were able to rise up from the people of Lysia. These heroes along with the mighty power and organization of The Shubi, were able to vanquish the forces of evil. Rhakin was finally slain by one of these heroes, a Mighty Battle Cleric of Kord. After a long enduring duel, the Cleric was able to best Rhakin and showed him no quarter by smashing his skull with his Mighty Hammer. Eventually, the people of Lysia were able to rise up and conquer their evil assailants.
The Spirit of Ronen returned to the Astral Sea and it was here that the memories of his other lifetimes flooded back to him. Despite the fact that he had no control over what had happened, Ronen was then overwhelmed with guilt from all the things he had done as Rhakin. Ronen’s spirit had done so many terrible deeds that he had come dangerously close to becoming a Rakshasa. In fact, it was only because he had no control over what had happened that he did not become a Rakshasa. At the Brink of Corruption, Ronen’s Spirit was determined to make amends. He decided to wait until the Aftermath of The Dark War had subsided, before returning to the mortal plane in an attempt to set things right with not only the people of Lysia, but with himself as well.
The Present Lifetime of Ronen
Deep in The Desert of Buried Misery lies an oasis, and it was at this oasis that The Shubi decided to entomb the corpses of the evil that had all but destroyed their lands. A great mausoleum was constructed to house the dark power inside, and it is sealed with great divine power. Some of the evil buried here was far too powerful to be completely destroyed; so every five years, The Shubi Monks take a pilgrimage and trek through the desert to recite the incantations needed to revitalize the seal on the mausoleum.
Twelve years ago, one such pilgrimage took place, and it was then that Ronen reincarnated. As the binding incantations were being recited, a violent storm passed through. Despite the storm, the monks did not waver in their chants. Then, blinding bolt of lightning struck the steps near the entrance to the mausoleum, followed by a deafeningly loud crack of thunder. When the dust cleared, there laid the body of the newly reincarnated Ronen.
As Ronen gained consciousness, he realized that he was tightly clutching a crystal shard in his hand. Ronen did not know what this shard was, but he felt a strange desire to keep it close to him always. Ronen looked around him at the dazzled monks who had now stopped their incantations out of bewilderment. Many of the monks were uneasy at the Deva’s sudden appearance during not only such a violent storm, but also at this particular place, which though sacred was also a containment of a great evil. The uneasy monks believed that this could be a terrible omen of a dark time ahead. Even still, a few of these monks greeted Ronen with open arms, for they knew that Devas are a rare people and strived to battle evil on all fronts during their time in the mortal plane. These few eager monks explained where they were and what the purpose of their pilgrimage was. They also seemed a bit distressed since Ronen’s appearance had interrupted their binding ritual on the mausoleum.
When they finished explaining, Ronen suddenly dropped to his knees as a very brief flash of memory struck him. Ronen saw himself in a dark world of black mist and clouds, surrounded by evil and death, yet he seemed to be amongst it willingly. He looked down at his blood stained hands as red lightning flashed in the sky. Then the vision ended. Ronen was very disturbed by what he saw but he did not know what it meant.
Ronen picked himself up and felt a great urge to help the monks with their pilgrimage. He told the monks that he wanted to aid them in reciting the incantations. The monks gladly brought him the ritual book, and this lifted much of the unease towards Ronen. Though the monks knew that Ronen was indeed a kind spirit, rumors began to spread that the nature of his reincarnation could still be an omen of dark times to come.
Ronen took the ritual book and skimmed over it. For some reason, he felt very comfortable with the nature of the incantations. He stayed with the monks at the oasis for 10 days as they performed the ritual that would fortify the seal that bound the evil within the mausoleum. When the ritual was complete, Ronen traveled back with the monks and they invited him to stay in their monastery. Ronen happily accepted the invitation and for 5 years he stayed with them.
During his time at the monastery, Ronen read every divine text he could get his hands on. He expressed a particularly great interest in Corellon, but also greatly valued the ideals of Erathis, Ioun, Bahamut, and Pelor. Although he also agreed with the commandments of Kord, Ronen would get a slight chill down his spine and a slight headache whenever he read mention of the storm god.
Ronen’s time at the monastery resulted in him becoming a Cleric of Corellon, but he possessed various pendants and charms showing respect to Erathis, Ioun, Bahamut, and Pelor as well. Due to Ronen’s affinity for protection and healing, he focused his divine energies towards shielding those near him, although he had not experienced combat during his time with The Shubi Monks.
After spending 5 years with the priests, Ronen felt that there was still much to learn. He decided that it was time for him to leave and continue his quest for knowledge elsewhere. Ronen told his peaceful friends that he would be leaving with the next supply caravan that came to the monastery. The monks were saddened by his desire to leave, but knew that he would bring goodness to where ever he may travel.
On the eve of the caravan’s arrival, the people of the monastery held a ceremony for Ronen. The monks knew not what the crystal that Ronen appeared with was, but they knew that he always kept it near him. They presented him with a custom fitted silver clasp and chain so Ronen could wear it around his neck. The clasp was simple, but inlaid with gold on each side was a symbol for each deity Ronen held most high, with Corellon’s symbol facing outwards. They also gave him his first holy symbol, and chanted a blessing for his journey. They asked but one thing of Ronen: Bring peace wherever you go.
Ronen inserted the crystal shard into the clasp, put it around his neck, and bowed to everyone in the monastery. These gifts meant so much to him, and he knew that there were not many precious metals around for The Shubi Monks to make this simple yet elegant charm. That night, Ronen was given many saddened good-byes, but he would not say good-bye to them. Instead he told them that this was not good-bye, for he would surely see them again one day.
Ronen left the monastery with the supply caravan and journeyed across The Desert of Buried Misery until they reached the city of Trevanok. Ronen thanked the traders for allowing him to travel with them, and then went to explore the city. It was in Trevanok that he found The Library of Jemali. Despite the small size of this library, the book stacks were piled high with a variety of texts.
It was clear to Ronen that the library had fallen into disarray and was understaffed. The only librarian was a short, withering old woman named Aesthera, but Ronen could see that she was wise beyond her years. Ronen, having an extreme interest in the knowledge that could be stored here, asked her if he could work as her assistant.
Aesthera seemed quite surprised at, not only his request, but also at his appearance. She told Ronen that she had read about his kind in the books she kept, but she had never seen a Deva in person before. She then informed him that there was not enough money to pay him for his work. Ronen looked around at the structure and realized that it was in shambles. Ronen thought for a moment and then told Aesthera that full access to the texts within the library would be sufficient payment. Aesthera was taken back by his words, but then a smile cracked across her wrinkled face. She told Ronen that his assistance would be most welcomed.
Aesthera then asked Ronen where he had come from. Ronen told her his tale, and when he finished, she seemed even more amazed. Then her amazement turned to a look of puzzlement. She asked him where he intended to stay in Trevanok. Ronen told her that he had nowhere to go and would likely have to find another job in the area to pay for a residence. Aesthera smiled, told him that this would not be necessary, and told him that there was an attic to the library that was unused.
Aesthera showed him up to the attic and welcomed Ronen to his new home. Ronen looked at his new home. Spider webs were everywhere, light shined through various cracks in the roof, and mice scurried about in the shadows. Ronen turned to her with a smile and told her that it was perfect.
Ronen lived in the attic of The Library of Jemali for 6 years. The roof no longer leaked, the walls were repaired, the pests were cleared out, and the books were organized. As Ronen organized the library, he was amazed at the number of ancient tomes and texts pertaining to the long lost arcane arts, historical records, archeological marvels, and gnomish inventions that were stored here. The library indeed held a wealth of knowledge within its walls; some of which were original documents that were lost to the scholars of the day. During his time at The Library of Jemali, Ronen took a different text with him to the attic every night and learned a great deal on many subjects. Some of these texts dated well before The Dark War that rocked the land of Lysia more than 250 years ago, and contained information of the arcane arts that once used to be common across the continent.
Despite the knowledge that was housed at The Library of Jemali, Ronen began to realize that he had done all he could for Aesthera. With the renovations he had done for her, the library had begun to have more visitors, and more donations began to come in. Ronen had read every piece of writing under the roof, and yet thirsted for more knowledge. The day finally came when Ronen decided it was time to depart.
Aesthera had become a dear friend and he had learned much from her as well. She had prepared food for him every day, and was extremely grateful for all he had done. When Ronen thanked her and told her that he felt it was time to depart, she seemed sad at first, but then said that she knew that he would need to continue his journey sometime. She told him that she saw great potential in him and that he was a kind spirit. She said that he seemed determined to do Good everywhere he went, as if he were carrying a great burden on his shoulders. Ronen was surprised at this, but something deep within his spirit seemed agree.
Aesthera then reached into a drawer in her desk and pulled out a thick book bearing the symbol of Ioun on its cover. It had a chain attached to its binding that was used as a shoulder strap and a locked clasp bearing a 4 pointed indentation on its edge to keep it closed. She then pulled a very small box from the drawer. She pressed her finger to the box, which caused the edges to flip out. Aesthera then told him that the box was in fact the key to the book. She placed it into the indentation on the clasp, and turned it. There was a small clicking sound and the clasp opened.
She handed the book to Ronen and he flipped through the pages, which appeared to be mostly blank. Aesthera told him that this was a special book that he could use as his journal and ritual book. The first 2 pages contained the Gentle Repose and Comprehend Language rituals. Ronen was speechless at her generous gift, for not only did it contain rituals, it also seemed to have an unending number of pages. She told him again that this book was very special, very old, and despite the fact that the pages appeared blank, it had been used before. She said that if he were to find a way to reveal the text on the pages, there could be an overwhelming amount of knowledge contained in it. She also assured that he need not worry about writing in it because everything seems to find its place in the end. Ronen did not know what this meant exactly but he did not question her words.
With his new treasure in hand, Ronen finally said farewell to Aesthera and promised he would one day return to Trevanok for a visit. He then traveled southwest until he reached the town of Brisbee. It was here that the story of this lifetime truly begins…