“Kyla” is a unique text written by Eoin McGraugh, a Unionist Ceardian colonist of New Ceardia sometime in late 240 AC. It is curious due to the path it took to publishing. Supposedly based on a true account, the story was kept by Eoin for several years before he told a brother in law. This brother in law then told it to his boss, a merchant, who took the tale with him to Arvost. From there, a merchant friend of his took it to Daenshore where he mentioned it to a printing house owner that then published the work. Luckily, the story was not diluted as the text successfully passed from man to man through a manuscript.
Author’s Foreword: A great many tales are told in churches of Unionism around our fair Aloria. This particular anecdote was recited to me and many others during a session of prayer in Daendroc. It rightly shows how Unionism can guide a righteous Ailor through any shroud, be it one of magic or that of a conniving trickster.
‘Twas no more than three nights after the beginning of the summer months when Kyla left her watery lair to feed. The crystal waters of Loch Dismae lapped against the muddy banks with an avid lethargy, and from the gentle ripples she emerged. Gruesome and evil was Kyla, with sharp teeth and a lithe body bespeckled with scales, yet clothed in ragged weeds. Kyla’s lips parted into a fanged grimace as she surveyed the forested lands around her lake, whilst her thin, beady eyes darted around in search of her first victim.
Luck came to Kyla in the form of a simple sheep-farmer from the verdant woodlands nearby. Hunched and idle, his grubby fingers slicking back his greasy locks of hair, the farmer sat on the bank whilst his flock of sheep grazed and fed beside him. The wicked kelp saw her opportunity to feast on the flesh of man now, and like a shimmering mirage in the distance, Kyla used her hex magic to portray the slender and naked form of an alluring female Ailor. Now noticing the creature, though she was as a beautiful goddess to he, the farmer became besmitten. Kyla led the farmer into the waters, swam with him out to the island at the middle of the lake, and tore out his throat. The farmer was of low intelligence and had no knowledge of the wrongdoings of magic, hence why the vicious Kyla could charm him without effort.
Satiated by her feeding, his corpse devoured and stripped to the bone, Kyla descended beneath the surface and fled to her cave in order to rest. After a day had passed, the villainous seductress Kyla left once more in search of another unwary meal. Drifting over to the opposite shore now she hid in the rushes, lying in a predatory fashion as she sought out the coming victim. A local warrior had come to the lake’s edge so to train with his sword, and to give praise to his heretical Old Gods; he hoped to fulfil his duties as a heathen by praying to the false idol Erai. Kyla’s magic played its use well once more as she parted the reeds and approached the brutish warrior, now having disguised herself as a dazzling young woman with hair like silk and a smile whiter than pearl. He, being led by fraudulent belief, was not able to distinguish the woman before him from that of Erai. His fake religion betrayed him, and Kyla set upon the man once she had pulled him into the waters. All that remained of the heretic once she had fed was his notched blade and rusted armor upon the bank of the lake.
Slumbering once more in her dark hideaway, Kyla then rose on the third day. Such a mischievous kelp had need of yet another grisly meal, though this day was to be her last. Unbeknownst to Kyla, the “victim” she was hoping to seduce and feast upon was a most devoted priest of the Unionist church, guided by the Emperor and the light. The priest set down his pack and staff on the sandy beach at the side of the lake, took out his flask and began to rest after a toiling journey. Kyla saw him resting and went to hide behind a submerged boulder, preparing to cloak herself in her deceiving womanly illusion. However, the priest had seen the monstrous kelp swim behind the rock when she was not yet masked. He stood alert and waited for what was to come, his eyes directed upwards to the sun. Feigning a lack of perception, he managed to trick Kyla into thinking he had not seen her yet. She meandered over to him through the waters camouflaged in her sultry female form, beckoning him to follow her.
But hark! The priest remained true to his worship of all-holy Unionism, and he recited the verse of the holy faith to Kyla, stating:
- “Spirit how many are my foes! How many may rise against me! How many will say Ailor cannot Deliver!
- But you, faith, are a shield for me, my glory, the glory of our mankind, we call out to his will
- The will and direction of your Imperial Crown, vestige and body of your Imperial will and promise!
- We lay, we hunger, we eat and we sleep for the Spirit lifts us high and sustains us in our destiny
- Arise ye Ailor, be delivered by the Imperial Spirit, strike our enemies and free the unknowing
- From the Spirit comes deliverance, may his blessing be upon the Imperial folk and all Ailor.”
Her hex magic faltered after his recital, causing Kyla’s treacherous appearance to shatter and reveal unto the priest her true, disgusting form. Kyla fell to the damp ground, whimpering in terror of the almighty prayer. The priest was guided by the Emperor and could not be tricked or misled by such petty magics. With a single blow of his stave he managed to slay the malevolent kelp, and with the formidable adulation of Unionism, the priest was victorious.
- Some have attempted to find “Loch Dismae” as mentioned in the story. The majority of these have been hunters, seeking to capture Kelp but all attempts thus far have failed.
- The name “Kyla” took a brief dip in popularity in Daenshore after the text was published before it returned to normal after a priest stated the name itself was perfectly fine, and any child born with such a name would not grow into a trickster.