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Nyx's Life

by David Knott

Nyx is one of the few Immortals to originate on the world of Laterre, where she was born as Princess Sharvari (and anyone familiar with Indian languages should see that name as being especially appropriate). Her mother was the daughter and only child of the king of Taprobane, an island south of the sub- continent of Hind, and her father was the captain of a Cathayan sailing ship who won her mother's hand in marriage after saving the king from an insidious plot against him by the other nobles. Her mother died in childbirth, leaving Sharvari to be raised by her father and maternal grandfather. When it was learned that she had a talent for magic, her grandfather brought in tutors to instruct her in the arcane arts. By the time she was 16 she was equal in magical power to any child of a Glantrian noble. At that time an ambitious nobleman assassinated her grandfather and then killed and was killed by her father.

Sharvari then became queen of Taprobane and ruled for about ten years before a vicious nosferatu managed to gain control of most of Hind. He then assembled a fleet and invaded Taprobane at night. Her soldiers fought back bravely and she devastated the attackers with her mighty spells, but in the end the nosferatu was able to subdue her, drink her blood, and turn her into a nosferatu under his control.

For the next 300 years she ruled Taprobane as his puppet. At the end of that time her nosferatu overlord was killed in battle by an invading army led by the Caliph of Saracenia, who proceeded to conquer the northern half of Hind and left the southern half in chaos.

This event freed Queen Sharvari from the domination that she had languished under for so long. By this point life on Taprobane had become intolerable for normal humans, so she used her combined nosferatu and wizardly powers to transform her remaining subjects into a variety of new undead beings who would thrive in the new world of darkness of Hind and Taprobane. Once she completed that transformation, she invaded southern Hind and began her quest for Immortality on the Path of the Conqueror. When she was removed from the scene by her sponsor, her empire in Hind collapsed but the various new races of undead beings she created continued to thrive for several centuries after her removal. Her second empire grew to encompass all of Hind and she was actually plotting an invasion of the theocracy of Shangri-La and then beyond to the empire of Cathay when her Immortal Sponsor directed her to wrap up her affairs and prepare for true Immortality.

As the Immortal Nyx (a Thyatian translation of her original human name), she gained power quickly, as she had a large base of worshipers on Laterre in Taprobane and southern Hind and proceeded quickly to attract even more worshippers on Mystara and in many other worlds. In fact, her advancement through the ranks of the Immortals from Temporal to Hierarch is believed to be the fasted on record.

Sharvari: A site on Indian baby names informed me that this is a girl's name meaning "of the night". Since "Nyx" is Greek for "night", the derivation of her Immortal name becomes obvious.

Taprobane: Ptolemy and other ancient sources give this name to a huge island south of India. Thus, "Taprobane" corresponds to Ceylon/ Sri Lanka, although ancient and medieval geographers appear to have grossly overestimated its size.

Hind: The subcontinent corresponding to modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Saracenia: The region of the Middle East dominated by Muslims. In the real world the Muslims invaded northern India but were eventually driven back to the area corresponding to modern Pakistan.

Cathay: A medieval name that corresponded to China. I

f you have access to the picture of Nyx in WotI you should have little problem picturing how I imagined Sharvari/Nyx. From her suggested ancestry, she is a short and slender woman with dark hair and light brown skin (intermediate between the dark brown complexion of her mother and the pale Chinese complexion of her father) and the almond ("slanted") eyes of her father.

Needless to say, there would be virtually no exchange of knowledge between Taprobane and Hind on the one hand and Old Averoigne and Old Klantyre on the other.