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The Winds of Aerthane

 

     The eastern and western winds get their names from two champions of Aerthane who fought during the shadow and light battles at Valar. Each was on opposite sides of the conflict as the elf Eurous, a female mage, believed Astraeva had been chosen to restore balance to the world. Zephyrous, a male warrior, believed it went against Aerthane’s wishes to deny someone the right to practice their belief.

 

Zephyrous was everything one would expect from a human warrior: tall, strong, charming, and predictable. His motives were always clear; his moves anticipated. He sought to defend the freedom that Aerthane has provided to the world. So absolute in his belief, he often found himself in dangerous situations due to his predictable strategies.

 

It was Eurous that often rescued Zephyrous from near certain death, though he would never acknowledge being in any real danger. Her view on life was far more closely guarded. She was the Arch-mage of Aerthane at the time of Itzal’s disappearance and spent countless nights searching for him. Upon his unveiling, she felt personally betrayed by the Pyresian Arch-mage Itzal and his manipulation of air. By the time Arch-mage Astraeva came along, Eurous was determined to help any cause that stood against Itzal.

 

Legend tells of a great storm that gathered atop the cliffs of the Aerwasi Mountains the night Eurous and Zephyrous met to decide if they’d go into battle. Zephyrous only saw it one way. There was a threat to the lands and it must be stopped. It was as clear as any other decision the two of them had made. Their mutual agreement was what brought the warriors and battle-mages of Aerthane together in times of crisis.

 

Eurous and Zephyrous had fought beside each other for decades, yet this night, they were unable to resolve their differences. Eurous insisted that Astraeva and her Light were created with a divine purpose. That she was chosen to restore order in the world. Zephyrous threatened to take his warriors into battle against this confining divination. By this time, the tempest had swept down the cliffs and descended upon the city of Aeran. The rains so heavy that the Tanasi River Valley flooded in a few hours time, washing out fields of crops that had recently been sewn.

 

Eurous had dealt with enough of Zephyrous’ stubbornness. Again, her mood saddened and betrayed, feeling the same as she did for her counterpart in the Pyresian faith, the Arch-mage Itzal. She saw his tendrils of darkness surrounding Zephyrous, and in that moment, rage consumed her as she lashed out at him with a powerful surge of electricity.

 

The storm had settled upon Aeran, refusing to push on to sea. The winds roared down the cliffside, uprooting ancient oaks and wreaking havoc on buildings. The battle raged on inside the temple. As for Zephyrous, perhaps for the first time in his life, fought an enemy having no agenda. He defended himself against her attacks time and time again, but resisted his natural instinct to fight back. It wasn’t until one of his deflecting blows sliced Eurous above the knee that he truly saw the rage within her and knew he must kill her or she would kill him. He moved in to take advantage of the staggering Eurous as she gathered herself, raising his sword to deliver a deadly cleave. As she raised her blade to defend, a horrendous gust ripped through the temple, loosening the bell from its harness as it fell toward the two locked in battle.

 

Outside, a powerful southeastern wind rolled over the ridge, forcing the tempest into the ocean. The clouds lost their strength at sea, rumbling quietly in protest as lightning flickered through the dissipating cloud bank.

 

As the dust settled inside from the debris of the fallen bell, Zephyrous pushed back the crumbled rock to search for Eurous. His desire to kill her was gone and panic had set in in hopes for her survival. Others rushed in to aid Zephyrous lift the bell, but Eurous was nowhere to be found. It would be months later when the two were reunited at the Battle of Valar, each standing beside his or her chosen victor. They would never come to blows again in mortal form, as it was then that Astraeva and Itzal locked upon one another and brought about the destruction of the age of immortals.

 

We honor these two by remembering the warriors they were. Zephyrous, the western winds that never fail to bring an end to the warmer months and usher in the fall. And Eurous, the eastern winds of change that are as unpredictable as their namesake. It is the unpredictable winds of Eurous we honor now as she sets upon the isles, bringing with her the changes of the new year.

 

 
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