This week, and in light of the recent yuletide season, Jacinth brings us a look at three of our own members of royalty who have travelled a great distance to see us. Unfortunately, the only gift they bear for us is PAIN:
Dereth, it can be said, is a subject that has served under many masters. From the treacherous Dericost to the highborn Yalain, from the ancient Falatacot to we Isparians–many nations and powers have held sway over this tiny island. However, far more beings than man or Empyrean have called Dereth home. When the time comes to chronicle the whole of Dereth’s history, a very important, very dark chapter must be devoted to the insect plague known as the Olthoi, and among the ranks of that foul species that have walked this world in the past, three in particular must be noted: The three Olthoi Queens who, at one time or another, ruled over this land.
Easily the most well known of the three Queens is the one we call the One Queen. Brought through the mystical barriers that were meant to shield this island from her kind, the One Queen established a brood on Dereth and quickly grew in power, eventually becoming dominant over all other queens and hives across Auberean. For years she ruled over the land, a land into which we were sent. The rest of this story is common knowledge: Those unfortunate enough to portal onto Olthoi-held Dereth were forced into slavery by the alien insects. A group of rebels led by Elysa Strathelar and the legendary Thorsten Cragstone struck back, and using an arrow enchanted by Asheron himself, Strathelar slew the One Queen, though the victory cost brave Cragstone his life. The humans upon Dereth were now free, though beneath that freedom dwelled the lingering fear of a second Queen coming to our island.
Those fears were actually realized, though for the longest time we had no such clue. Unbeknownst to us, on the small neighboring island of Marae Lassel, a second Olthoi Queen reigned. However, instead of doing contending with humans, this hive battled the Tonk, the race we would come to know as Tumeroks. The Tonk fought a seemingly impossible war, with the high walls and strong fortifications of their town, Timaru, providing their sole protection. Finally, though, they found a way to turn the tide. Enhancing the power of their drumming through the island’s Menhir rings, the Tonk drove the Olthoi back into their tunnels; there, their greatest warriors, including Aun Ralirea and Harelaua (later Hareltah), fought the Queen herself. At great cost in Tonk life, the queen of the Marae Olthoi brood was defeated, but a second, younger queen would eventually rise to plague the island; it was then that we Isparians gave aid to the Tonk and slew this Olthoi as well.
Of course, no discussion of Olthoi Queens can be completed without mentioning their common point of origin, the one queen from which all subsequent broods would come, the Ancient Queen. This Queen was and is the earliest known queen encountered by any of the known races of Auberean; she was first sighted by Asheron and his party upon an expedition to the homeworld of both the Olthoi and the Grievvers. Enthralled by the idea of a near-infinite legion of magically-resistant creatures to let loose upon his enemies (for they were many), the Yalaini Emperor Kellin II ordered the Ancient Queen brought through the portal to Knorr, where she could be studied and, hopefully, controlled. This was not to be, however, and the Queen broke free from her captors. Calling her children through an open portal from their homeworld, she soon led the Olthoi in driving the Yalain from Knorr, and they soon spread to the rest of the Seaborne empire, eventually forcing them off the planet altogether.
Across the ages of Olthoi rule, the Ancient Queen endured, as did her hatred of Asheron, the one responsible for her injury and imprisonment. Her personal brood briefly invaded Dereth in search of the mage, but they were turned back. Nonetheless, the Ancient Queen still lives, and in doing so she embodies the entirety of Olthoi upon this world: Though time and again they may be driven back into the dark, always do they survive. It may simply be destiny that our two races do battle on and on until the end of all things, both sides locked in combat until some far away cataclysm comes and claims us all.