|Full Name||Talea Sunvidal|
|Date of Birth||2865 BC|
|Date of Death||2500 BC|
|Claim to Fame||First Empress of the Allorn Empire, first Archmage|
No figure in all of history has seen the same number of scholars, poets and more devoted to them than Talea Sunvidal. A living myth among the Altalar, Talea is shrouded in mystery, especially her early life, with dozens of tales told of how she formed the early days of the Allorn Empire. However, the second half of her life is much more known, and though she lived a shorter life than other Altalar, she established a way of life that would endure six times over the length of her existance. Still, many mysteries remain about the Empress, with none likely being easily solved.
Origins and Early Life
There are a number of places scholars both Ailor and Altalar believe to be the birthplace of Talea. Many name it as mainland southeastern Daen, in what is now Tanaar Ivaëlle of Teled Methen, since that is where Talea would build her capital. However, many others instead believe that the words of the Cult of Talea ring true; that the islands now known as Talea Scansä off the western coast of Daendroc are her birthplace. If such a thing is true, then it suggests a much more far flung Altalar presence then had been traditionally considered, as well as opens the possibilities of much greater contact between the early Altalar and Dewamenet Empire. Regardless of her birthplace, her birth itself is also a point of contention. Most Altalar vehemently believe that she is a literal demigod, the sole such figure in their faith, being born of Estel with a mortal life, and with no male consort involved. Others, most commonly Ailor scholars, believe that Talea was perhaps the daughter of the founder of the Faith of Estel, some high-priestess whose religious role grew to the point that her daughter sought to enhance her own position through tying her birth into that of the gods. Regardless of this, her early life is a total mystery. However, it is known that by the age of 50, she was in Teled Methen, and had likely begun her first conquests by this stage.
The conquest of the Altalar of Teled Methen lasted, depending on who you believe, as much as 200 years, and involved “millions” of combatants. However, most Ailor believe that, at most, the eight armies Talea rode with numbered a total of perhaps 200,000. These armies were not led by Talea herself, but Avatars of the Gods, whom Talea had supposedly compelled to become mortal to aid her in her task as set forward by their common mother and creator. Whether Talea actually did this is unknown, but the Avatars of the Gods certainly did emerge at this time, and likely began to establish their religious centers in the wake of their conquests across Teled Methen and later across the whole of Daen. With this army, Talea also brought the Faith of Estel to the Altalar people, many of whom still worshiped the mysterious Moon-Well Goddess. The worship of her came to an end with that of Estel, though was soon supplanted itself by the Avatars as Talea declared the dormant nature of their mother.
There are by some estimates literally thousands of different tales from this long period of Talea’s expansion. Many are contradictory to each other and often portray a wide range of events leading up to the incorporation of the same kingdom, fiefdom, or state that fell to her armies and her diplomacy. It can be said of Talea that she handled her conquest of the Altalar homeland with masterful precision. By the date of 2680 BC, many believe the core states of Teled Methen had been conquered and combined into the first territorial borders of the Allorn Empire, and it was here that she was no longer known just as the daughter of Estel, nor as Queen, Princess, and a dozen lesser titles as leader of her kingdom, but she was now officially Empress, with the Crown of the World atop her head. Finally, the Allorn Empire had begun, but Talea was already facing a threat very close to her homeland.
Much like the history of Talea herself, the history of the Asha is lost to the ages, especially that which describes this ancient time. However, it is known that Talea formed a barrier between her own Empire and the traditional lands of these ancient Asha sometime in her early to middle reign which became known as the Verdant Wall, which stands even to this day as the division between Daendroc and Ithania. However, it is certain that in the final century and a half of her life, Talea was finally forced to engage in outright warfare with these enemies. In the conflict known as the Flight of Reason, thousands died as sophisticated Asha war machines fiercely battled with Altalar magics, and Talea herself led some campaigns (at least according to rumors). There are just as many tales about what happened here as there are about the union of the Altalar under Talea, though most do feature a form of special intervention from the Avatars, Talea herself, and occasionally even Estel, to result in the Altalar winning the war, and beginning to tear apart the Dewamenet Empire. This task would not be complete until after Talea’s lifetime, as she died around 2500 BC, soon after the Dewamenet Empire and Ithania had fallen to the Allorn Empire. Her remains were then supposedly transported to be entombed on Talea Scansä, though a tomb to Talea sits even to this day in the capital city of Tanaar Ivaëlle.
Any accurate description of Talea’s personality is utterly lost to the realm of myth and Altalar idealism. In all descriptions, Talea is stated as the ideal Altalar, representing all Altalar subraces in one. She had the grace and status of the Teledden, the discipline and military focus of the Fin’ullen, the scheming spirit and contemplative way of the Suvial, the studious and care of the Lesarra and the flexibility and dogma of the Solvaan. Most Ailor suspect that she was far harsher than is commonly believed, given her command of incredible magics and conquest of millions, both Altalar and not, but this may also be caused by bias against the Altalar. In truth, the cult status of Talea has obscured any truth to her personality, and ultimately leaves it all a mystery.
Talea Sunvidal is unquestionably the most important Altalar who has ever lived. Her conquests outlasted her for over 2000 years, and the Allorn Empire was the envy of many while being considered the equal to the ancient Seraph today. She was also the herald of the Faith of Estel, spreading that system of belief across Daen, and establishing a faith that lasted for a similarly long period of time, even if closer to the end it decayed in strength. Talea is also praised for her Blessings, the Racial Abilities of the Altalar Race which she supposedly had a role in forming (even though those for The Unwritten Gods came long after she died). Talea is furthermore considered the first Altalar Archmage, a role that later came to dominate the Allorn Empire, as she wielded hugely powerful Magic based on both the Exist and the Void. Finally, Talea is often vilified for being the figure that led to the destruction of the Dewamenet Empire, and the near total enslavement of the Asha Race. On the backs of the millions of Asha slaves, the Allorn Empire eventually built its Consolidation, and Talea’s reputation among the Asha became the status it is today.
Despite supposedly lacking a mother and father, Talea Sunvidal didn’t lack for prodigy herself. History records at least four daughters, and perhaps as many as ten sons, who went on to rule portions of the Allorn Empire as Princes, Princesses, and governors. One of her daughters rose after her death to the role of Empress, becoming the first leader in the Consolidation, known as Empress Yanta’pryjan.
- Talea’s command of Magic is said by many to have been unrivaled, even by those Archmages who arose later into the Allorn Empire.
- There is some question about how far west Talea conquered in her lifetime. The Consolidation is commonly held as the point that Hyarroc and the Far West was explored, but some have come to believe that Talea’s armies actually reached into this region and established outposts and more that later became massively expanded.
- Talea’s most well-publicized quote is: “Silence has merit in the halls of power.”, suggesting her opinion on the role of leaders and nobles in the halls of government.
- Talea's apparent return in January of 309 AC has produced much shock, confusion, and rabid devotion across Aloria from Nelfin in even lands as far away as Zhong.