Strange, unearthly creatures, even the gods bow down when a Herald commands. Varying from indescribably beautiful to hideously dreadful in visage, the Heralds most commonly appear as a tall (seven to eight foot) humanoid who falls somewhere between Elf and Human in appearance. Wielding great swords and awesome power, their main purpose is to curtail the use of magic. No one is quite sure why they do this, although many scholars have theorized that it is because of magic's unstable tendencies, and the chance that too much spellcraft in one place could dangerously drain that area of life and power, leaving it blasted and ruined. Or perhaps too much magical use by a mortal would alter them or harm them in ways mortal ken cannot even begin to imagine.... Many believe that the Heralds fled from a world where magic had become used too much, destroying the dimension the Heralds dwelled on. Others think that the Heralds are the creator of the gods themselves, and still more think the gods created the Heralds to keep themselves in check. No one knows how many Heralds there are, and reports of encounters with them are wildly dissimilar.
The Guardian Dragons
Three of the Heralds chose to take on semi-mortal forms and live in the world we know, shortly after the disastrous destruction of the S'Kra Sraan Mehath (Wind Clan) near the end of the Elven-Human War. Taking the names Glacis, Eerayn and Sildua, and the bodies of enormous dragons, the three Guardian Dragons set out to change the course of mortal history.
Also see Lanival's Tale.
Glacis is best known for saving the life of Lanival the Redeemer. He is likely to have inspired Lanival's plan to reforge the broken Empire, and that association is why the Five Provinces we know today are sometimes referred to as the Dragon's Realms.
There is little public knowledge about the mysterious "Dragon of the East". It is commonly believed that she lives on a continent across the Great Ocean, though the occasional sailor reports seeing her winging across the skies of Qi early in the morning.
Rumors abound that such figures as High Lord Daervlan, Ferdahl Kukalakai, and Erzebet Crowther enjoy infrequent but regular correspondence with Eerayn. They, of course, do not confirm or deny these rumors.
Eerayn has golden eyes and rainbow-colored scales.
Sildua has been the most active -- or else, the least discreet -- of the three. His motives are unfathomable, his actions unpredictable. He has been known to save a city from destruction one week, only to hire a band of mercenaries to attack it the next. In fact, mercenaries fascinate him. Several years ago, he hired two bands to make war on each other, until both captains realized what had happened and walked out on their contracts.
He has one lair behind the falls of the Erlinilaya southeast of Shard, and another in the hills above Knife Clan. He can occasionally be seen flying directly over the Crossing, and once used a gwethdesuan to mock the tiny people below.
Sildua has clear-colored eyes and shadowy black scales.
First Guardians of Magic
...At last, it was the land itself that caused the tides of battle to change. The S'Kra had developed, within a short span of a few years, a deadly magic that would destroy a large portion of the Human forces. On the day the spell was cast, the sky darkened and the air stilled, but the magic itself never completed, for at that moment the world met its first Guardians.
The Guardians, it is said, stepped out of nowhere, one male and one female. Both wore simple white robes and looked like a strange mix of Elven and Human. They drew up their arms and all the battlefield stilled as the entire forces felt their limbs grow heavy and unmovable. Then the Guardians said, in quiet voices that carried across the fields, that, while they cared little for the war, they did care for the magics being exchanged, and warned for a halt. They discouraged further abuse of the magic that was a gift to all races, and gave one final warning -- then vanished.
One warrior mage, whose name has since been trampled into the mud and forgotten, ignored the warning, proclaiming that he was more powerful than any Guardian. He invoked the great spell of destruction that the mages had been attempting to call down before -- and a bloom of white-hot fire burst up around him, incinerating everyone within a quarter mile radius -- which happened to include the entire Wind Clan of the S'Kra...
Second Guardians of Magic
You see Elide, a Herald. Her soft dusky skin barely contains a faint luminosity which lends an ethereal glow to the bright blue pupils of her pale silver eyes. Slightly pointed and gently curled ears are nearly hidden by the softly curling tresses of her bright white, nearly colorless hair, easing the sharp angles of her majestic features. The shimmering silver folds of her flowing robes barely conceal the hilt of a delicately tapered long sword. Brightly lacquered nails in alternating stripes of blue and silver draw attention to the delicate fingers of her long, graceful hands.
You clutch your head in pain.
You see Issendar, a Herald. His dark glossy skin barely contains a soft luminosity which lends an eerie glow to the cool green pupils of his pale silver eyes. His bright white, nearly colorless hair, is pulled back from his sharply angled features and braided into an elaborate knot at the nape of his neck. The soft grey watersilk robe that barely conceals the hilt of an unusually long sword ripples softly, teasing the eye with the illusion of gently surging waves. Brightly lacquered nails in alternating stripes of green and silver draw attention to the long tapering fingers of his heavily veined hands.
You clutch your head in pain.
You see Kirmhara, a Herald. The ritualistic scarring of her ebony skin pulses with an intense luminosity which lends an unnatural glow to the flashing gold pupils of her pale silver eyes. Slightly pointed, yet curled and somehow half formed ears are nearly hidden by her bright white, nearly colorless hair which cascades to her knees in spiky braids, lending a brittle edge to her sharply angled features. The incandescent flame red folds of her long flowing chiton barely conceal the hilt of a cruelly twisted long sword. Brightly lacquered nails in alternating stripes of red and gold draw attention to the long tapering fingers of her long, boney hands.
You clutch your head in pain.
Letter believed to be written by a Herald
Carrier Pigeon Letter
On 87 Lirisa 351 (10 June 1997), a Carrier Pigeon was shot down by a mysterious stray arrow and landed dead on the Town Green. As soon as the letter it was carrying was opened, mean creatures began invading the area. For the full story, see the Wren's Nest Tavern's News Archives. I received the text of the note it carried from Seugallus:
To the Northeastern Sentinel, from She of the Winds:
I have been to That Place to observe, unfortunately neither undetected nor unwounded. I am once more in my abode, healing very slowly as my kind do; if you write back with "I told you so" I shall eat your grandchildren. I still believe the risk was worth the reward -- it is no boast that my shadow passing over their citadel has stricken fear into their hearts.
The Fool Son, as old Uthmor was wont to call him, is quite literally unearthing an ancient evil -- not, however, the one we feared. I so despise this need to be circumspect, but if you recall anything of Wellsmarch where we first found you, you will have some idea of the threat our people face.
It may interest you to know that I saw none of Dzree's brood during my reconaissance. I would give much to know their part in this madness.
I apologize for the brevity of this message, but I must sleep now. My healing may take many years and you may not hear from me again before your mortal span (may it be long!) reaches its end. Either way, we shall meet upon the Starry Road and share a cup at Glythtide's table.