A simple question has perplexed the greatest minds of all known civilizations since the dawns of their histories: Do the ends justify the means? Are there situations so significant, so pivotal, or so outright dire that their resolution is worth any cost? Are there actions so heinous that, even taken for the most virtuous of intentions, cannot be justified? Such a question was asked long ago to an Empyrean by the name of Lady Rajael Fellarien.

Little is known of Lady Rajael prior to her appointment to a significant position within the Yalaini Seaborne Empire. After much campaigning on the part of the noblewoman, she was given the title of Protector of Marae Lassel. Marae, meaning “Sheltering Isle” in the Yalaini tongue, was a sort of nature preserve established to house rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, a purpose that it continues to serve to this day, and Fellarien was tasked with overseeing the operations of the preserve and the creatures within. For years she carried out this duty with great skill and fervor, but one day her duties were compromised. Lady Rajael had begun to perceive the presence of some threat, an evil of unknown origin and nature, beneath her beloved Marae and set out to expose it through any means within her power. To that end she began numerous excavations throughout the island and even dammed the waters of the Marescent Plateau, and in doing so led to the escape of many animals and the death of many Yalain; even after such effort and sacrifice, however, the evil under Marae Lassel remained undiscovered.

For her transgressions, Lady Rajael was stripped of her title and nobility by Emperor Caerlin and imprisoned in a tower located in a frozen land far to the south of the Empire, the Golems that maintained the prison her only companions. For decades she remained in this isolated exile until the very Emperor that ordered her imprisonment deemed she should be released, for he had a task through which Fellarien might redeem herself. Along with other scholars and mages famed throughout the Empire, she was to formulate a strategy that would allow the Empyrean to survive and defeat the Shadows that were now covering the land. This Council of Five finally did come up with such a strategy, attempting to seal the leader of the Shadows, Bael’Zharon, within a crystalline prison. Their plan was successful, at the cost of the lives of every Council member; the explosion of energy resulting from the prison’s completion annihilated their fortress and the Council along with it. In the end, Lady Rajael Fellarien embodied in death the same notion she did early in life: Some causes are worth sacrificing everything, including one’s own life.

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