The Lance of Marduk
Association With the Lance
Aryawwn Casalee is often considered the founder of the Lance of Marduk, and for good reason. While the group did not adopt the name from her until after the events at Shadowfell Keep, Aryawwn was the one most responsible for bringing them together in Fallcrest and leading them as a group to Winterhaven, wherein they discovered and put a stop to Kalarel’s plans. As such, Aryawwn is one of the Lance’s members who has been continuously associated with the group since the formation of the core members in Fallcrest, along with Phalanx and Phenex. Furthermore, Aryawwn was tasked with investigating suspicious activities around the town of Winterhaven, which became the first recognized endeavor of the group.
Within the group, Aryawwn exhibits a far less commanding personality than other members, but takes no less an active role in events. While Phenex and Phalanx visibly dominate situations and ensure that their presence cannot go unnoticed, Aryawwn leads from the background with spells that invigorate her allies and mentally overwhelm her foes. She acts more through influence than force, both in violent and diplomatic circumstances.
Born the only daughter of a diplomatic marriage between Luther Yderig (a high ranking member of Cadrin’s senate) and Mirima Casalee (a highborn elf from the neighboring village), Aryawwn’s childhood was far from conventional. She lived a privileged life, gaining access to nearly anything she fancied simply by virtue of who she was. Despite this, she led a fairly predetermined existence. As expected for one of her station, her future was largely decided for her from the time she was old enough to walk unassisted, with her opinions on such matters cast aside (if voiced at all). Chief among these matters were those of her occupation and her future marriage. As for the former, Mirima succeeded (after some argument) in convincing Luther that Aryawwn should undergo training as a cleric rather than following her father into the political arena. For the latter, an elf (Mirima’s decision) named Trestin Thetryn (and Luther’s) was arranged to be her husband.
Accordingly, the two children spent much of their time together. Trestin proved to be frail and perpetually sickly from birth, and as such had little choice but to devote himself to mental pursuits, and became virtually removed from interacting with society. Of course, this isolated existence heavily impacted Aryawwn, leading her to be similarly reclusive. Detached as they were from the outside world, she and Trestin influenced one another immensely, each transferring to the other their ideas and interests. It was from Trestin that Aryawwn acquired her insatiable curiosity, even at the price of her own well-being. His thirst for knowledge and understanding was unquenchable, and it was only natural that – given their constant interaction – she begin to feel the same.
This same desire for understanding set itself at odds with the life chosen for her. Though raised and trained as a devotee of the sun god, Pelor, Arywwn found herself questioning the purpose of her role in the world around her. As she began to search for answers, she found only more questions and uncertainties, and turned increasingly to Ioun in search of direction. Despite this shift, Aryawwn remained nominally dedicated to Pelor, and revealed her true loyalties only after venturing out from under the shadow of the life expected of her and into the world beyond Cadrin’s walls.
Cadrin’s Civil War
When open warfare broke out between the elven village of Sisispel and the city of Cadrin, Aryawwn (and Trestin) found themselves in a quandary, having ties to both sides of the conflict. Despite their connections to Sisispel, they chose to side with Cadrin for the duration of the war. While her father turned his attention to his own position, Aryawwn assisted the city’s militia out of loyalty to Cadrin and a selfless desire to minimize the number of casualties. Despite noble ambitions, vicious fighting claimed hundreds of lives on both sides in the first half-year of the conflict. This wreaked havoc on her psyche, culminating in the events of the Battle of the Crimson Sea, as observed by the historian Atreus in the following passage:
With her mental state already in disarray, Aryawwn reached her breaking point in the aftermath of the Battle of the Crimson Sea – so named for the firestorm that swept across the battlefield in the wake of the fighting. Among Cadrin’s casualties in the battle was Trestin Thetryn, whose death drove Aryawwn to abandon the war and the city mere days later. Though the battle is and should be considered a victory for Sisispel, the introduction of the Black Guard in subsequent engagements ensured that it was the last major defeat that Cadrin suffered.
After the battle, Aryawwn made her way to the city of Fallcrest in the central Nentir Vale, where she was tasked with investigating suspicious activities in the vicinity of Winterhaven and met the other founding members of the Lance of Marduk. By the time she returned to the city after eradicating the cult at Shadowfell Keep, the war had concluded and Cadrin had entered a phase of reconstruction. This homecoming was well timed, and her actions (with the Lance) saved the city from what could have been its demise at the hands of Vairis of Valenwold, a former-ally-turned-traitor who was overseeing operations of a group of cultists beneath the city.