Article written by Kranar Drogin, Darcwulf, Uziel
Essana Forlo (384 AC - ? AC) was born the daughter of Baron Varyan. In 404 AC, Essana met a young officer named Barreth Forlo at the Festival of Masks, and after one year of being wooed by him, her father finally gave them consent to marry in 405 AC. Over the years they had been unsuccessful in trying to have children and she believed her womb was barren.
She is tall, slender as a willow-wand, and has long black hair with some gray in it. Essana has a large smile, and crinkles around ice-blue laughing eyes. She has a personal nickname of Starlight, which only her husband Barreth uses.
Following the death of her father in 407 AC, she inherited all the lands of Coldhope that had belonged to her ancestors for generations, and lived at Coldhope Keep. She officially at this point became the Baroness of Coldhope. In 424 AC, Essana finally became pregnant with a son, who was due to be born in the winter. Just when Essana's joy couldn't be higher, Barreth was forced to go off to war to defend their home from the Uigan horde. While he was gone, the dragon Gloomwing and several Shadow-Fiends came and kidnapped Essana and the Hooded One.
Prisoner of the Faceless Brethren
Essana found herself held captive in the Temple of Akh-tazi in Neron, at the mercy of the Faceless Brethren. She learnt that the Faceless Brethren claimed her from Coldhope Keep because she was pregnant and they needed the unborn child of a Human noble. She also discovered that the Brethren were originally from the Rainward Isles, were worshippers of Maladar an-Desh and are planning to rebirth his spirit into the body of her child. She also learnt that when Maladar is reborn into the world, her usefulness would be at an end and she would be killed.
In an attempt to foil the Brethren's plot, Essana swallowed a fish bone, hoping to kill both herself and her unborn child. However one of the Brethren, The Keeper, saves her life. He confides in her, revealing that he is in truth, a spy for the Rainward Kings, and attempts to escape the temple with Essana. However the leader of the Brethren, The Master, captures the pair and makes Essana watch The Keeper, whose true name is Azar, be killed slowly. She gives birth to her son, and watches the Brethren magically age him into a young man, to serve as a better host for Maladar. She names her son Azar Forlo, in honour of the brave spy who gave his life in an attempt to free her.
During the ceremony to release Maladar's spirit into Azar's body, Essana was placed as a sacrifice on the temple's altar. However her husband Barreth appeared with his companions, striking down the last of the Brethren. Even though the ceremony was interrupted, Maladar's spirit still broke free, but entered her husband's body, rather than her son's. Now controlled by Maladar, Barreth fled the temple, leaving his wife and son behind. With her husband's friends Shedara and Hult, and her son Azar, Essana suggested they travel to the Rainward Isles, to ask for aid against Maladar.
In Search of Barreth
Essana was greatly aged by her woes, with her black hair streaked even more with white, and her muscles wasted away from her imprisonment at the temple. She journeyed with her new companions out of Neron and through the realm of Old Aurim, where she learnt that her son's new magical powers were actually gained from Maladar somehow. On reaching the city of Suluk in the Rainward Isles, Essana feared that she would prove a distraction or a liability, if they faced Maladar whilst he was in Barreth's body. She told her companions that she await their return in the city of Thumar, and wished for their success.
She later was rejoined in Thumar with her husband, who returned after being freed from the influence of Maladar.
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