GALENA BIO PART 1
“From the account of T’zik Oor, acolyte of the Gaunt Shepherd: When the days of the Twelve Thousandth Harvest began, she was presented to Those Who Attend. Her terrified begetters, like so many before, came believing that through this innocent offering their own lives would be protected. Prolonged. And like so many before, they did not understand that such an offering—the whelp taking her first timid steps towards the waiting Talon Priests—could be accepted only as a solemn promise of their own destruction! Her kin destroyed! Her village destroyed! Each and every connection she had to her world, destroyed!”
GALENA BIO PART 2
“From The Song of Those Who Attend: “And lo, the terrible power already nascent in the one named Galena, in honor of the golden champion of old. Many would stumble on the path to serve Volkerh. Many brutally die in the quest to know the Whispering Walker. But not this one. Not Galena! Even at an age where most played idly, unaware of the storied agonies to come, her eyes struck fear in others! Her words rang with authority! And when the time came for Galena to tread the Path of Pain, even her attendants knelt, transfixed.””
GALENA BIO PART 3
The Seventh Book of the Old Kingdom made it clear what would be required of her. With her genuflecting, hooded attendants receding, this mortal girl—still a stripling!—was sent away to face He Who Walks in Blood, banished to the hissing realms where unspeakable things await any who stray from the cohort that protects them. And yet, Galena did not question this. Alone, she walked. Alone, and with no runes to protect her! She did not yet know that only by surviving would the black magic be revealed and granted to her at last.
GALENA BIO PART 4
And which of the scenes from the Unholy Tapestry would become Galena’s legend? Perhaps when she traversed the Swamp of the Never-Born, where fetal abominations devour each other endlessly. Or that when battling the Molten One, she did not retreat, even when the One melted into two, then three, enshrouding her in smoke and ash. Even with those terrors conquered, Galena—bloodied but unbowed—had yet to face the Shriek-Tutors of K’lor! Yet when she called on her own dark might, Galena was their equal, striking fear into those from whom fear is born!
GALENA BIO PART 5
“From The Song of Those Who Attend: “I, Myong, greeted her in the name of the Gaunt Shepherd when she returned. None believed she would return alive! But she walked into the Circle, the flames turning brilliant and smoky as she approached. And I went to Galena, her body lashed with deep wounds that should have drained her of blood. No part of her skin untouched. And as her eyes looked to me, I saw that the girl we had attended was no longer there. And I whispered a reverent prayer of thanks to Volkerh.””
GALENA BIO PART 6
And when Galena came of age, her Summoning still to come, all her fearsome power had to be tamed. Her eyes revealed that she no longer clung to the feeble morality of her birth-world—only to power, strength, brutal survival. Now she would be called by an Ichor Mage to learn the Lesson of Lessons. But all who saw her, frightened by her wild might, wondered: Could even a deathless Ichor Mage bring her power to heel? If not, what fate would He Who Walks in Blood choose for her? We could only wait as the ink-ice formed in our throats.
GALENA BIO PART 7
All the creatures of the Lambent Realm fell silent and motionless that day, awaiting the exquisite battle between master and acolyte. The Ash-Swimmers claimed the battle itself would be less a test than a demonstration of the Ichor Mage’s dark prowess. But Galena had learned much, discarded much. Tears and smiles mattered not. Wounds counted for nothing. Fear had been banished. Now, there was merely this last challenge: to defeat the Mage. Could even the great Volkerh not be gripped, held by the horror and wonder of the battle to come?
GALENA BIO PART 8
The Ichor Mage lay still. Galena had won. Whispers came first, then chants, laughter, even screams. Let the Summoning begin!, as the Attendants’ voices also joined, until the cries became a roar that could be heard even to the Pool of Night. Galena then began the final journey: to stand alone before the shattering abyssal power of Volkerh! Could she return alive? Could she return sane? So many others had walked the Path only to join the creatures of the pit, once powerful, now trapped in the agonizing slaughter-mire of the ancients.
GALENA BIO PART 9
No one witnessed. No words were recorded. But the Gaunt Shepherd himself awoke from his slumber that night. Only visions, some might say. But the Shepherd saw that Volkerh had appeared—that the tatters and claws of the Ineffable One had encloaked Galena! That she raised her weapon to taste the power of the ancient god, to make her rise above all who would soon kneel in obeisance to her! At dreams’ end, in this realm of secrets and scythe-blades, Galena had met the call, had been embraced by He Who Walks in Blood, and had become Volkerh’s unholy paladin!
GALENA LORE ARTIFACT
A human child’s ragdoll, scorched and threadbare, with only blackened scratches for eyes. Treated by some as a sacred relic, the doll must be kept far away from Galena, who wants to obliterate any trace of connection to her birth-world.