This week, Jacinth examines one of the more epic and tragic sagas in the long history of Dereth, the story of Fiun Gaya and his dearly-departed Lunnum:

On some occasions, when my mood is more sullen and my thoughts more cynical, I begin to ponder the nature of pain and misery in our world. Just how much suffering, regardless of its merit, can one individual or one group endure? What sorts of actions or inactions warrant the presence of such misery? And how much must one undergo before they have repaid their spiritual or moral debt to the world and be allowed release from their torment? It is at times like these that my thoughts drift to the sad tale of Fiun Gaya and Lunnum.

Gaya is and Lunnum was of the race known as Fiun, a once proud and noble people who, like we humans on Ispar and the Empyrean here on Auberean, had achieved dominance over their world. In an effort to push their race even farther than they had already come, they sought to perform a task that was once only the realm of the old gods and conjurers of legend: Create a new life form, the living embodiment of their advancement. Their greatest researchers and sorcerers poured themselves into performing this feat, and eventually, in a fashion, they succeeded. They did create a new creature that had never before been seen on their world, but their control over their new creation quickly slipped, the creature unleashed. Thus did an act of hubris by the Fiun lead to the downfall of their society, at the hands and within the jaws of the beast we have come to know as the Eater.

A few Fiun survived to make the journey to Auberean, where they established a new home on the Halaetan Isles, but their race was still decimated. However, hope still bloomed within them, and they began the slow process of rebuilding their society on their new world. This angered the Fiun named Gaya; he believed even such small hope was far too great a boon for a people that had unwittingly wreaked such havoc on their homeworld, and so he sought to doom the Fiun beyond any means or method of recovery. He murdered the sole surviving female Fiun on this world, his own beloved Lunnum, thereby condemning his people to a slow decline into an inevitable extinction. As penance for this unspeakable act, Gaya sentenced himself to tend the funeral pyre of his fallen love, ensuring that it’s pale flame would burn until he met his own end.

Fate, it seems, thought Gaya due even more suffering. Unknown forces made their way to the sacred site of Lunnum’s pyre and stole the body from the dais. A distraught Gaya sent any who would listen out into the world to find any sign of her whereabouts, but while many clues were discovered, Lunnum’s remains remained missing. However, even now, rumors circulate that she has been found, in a form hardly thought possible. The reanimated corpse of the Fiun Lunnum is said to stalk some dark dungeon in a distant land, comfort elusive to her even in death.

Whatever final fate awaits the Fiun named Gaya and Lunnum on some distant day, I can’t help but hope that an end to their torment is in the cards, and that, whether in life or death, they find the peace that they so desperately crave.

For more on Fiun Gaya and Lunnum, check out their respective Encyclopedia entries, as well as the quest writeups for Lunnum’s Pyre, Thief of Lunnum, Lunnum’s Return, and (for an extra tidbit) Lila the Flower Girl.

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