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Araluen, Ash, the Child of Light, the Horned Aspect and The Step-daughter of Talona were fragments of a divine being sent by Lurue to the Great Dale in 1368 DR to bolster the forces fighting the Rotting Man.[1] After the latter captured most of his essence, he twisted it into the Step-Daughter of Talona; the remainder of her hope formed a small baby, capable of speaking only the word 'Ash'.[3] Both aspects were reunited in 1373 DR, reforming a complete Araluen who drove the Rotting Man off of Dun-Tharos.[6]

Description[]

As Ash, she resembled (and for many purposes was) a frail five-year old in peasant clothes.[7] Her hair was baby brown as a baby,[8] and her eyes were sky blue.[9]

As the Step-Daughter of Talona, she was a foul, vile abomination the size of a barn, all festering flesh on four elephantine legs, with a single fifteen-foot long spiraling horn. It had no other features beyond the horn. It screamed in basso from an unseen mouth.[2][note 1]

As Araluen restored, she was a shifting shape, both a woman and a white-gold unicorn with a crystal horn.[10]

Personality[]

As Ash she was pure of spirit but extremely simple-minded, unable to comprehend so much as betrayal. Even in the moments she was in the most contact with her divine nature, she could scarcely form a sentence.[11] Though she was able to speak the word 'Ash' from birth, she never learned to speak any other words in her five years of life under her own power.[7]

As the Step-daughter of Talona, she was under the complete control of the Rotting Man, though at her core, she was still a creature of the green powers.[12]

As Araluen, she sought only to defeat the Rotting Man and preserve the forests of the Great Dale. She still had a place in her heart for Marrec and his party, as well as the farmer Hemish.[13]

Abilities[]

Ash possessed healing hands capable of restoring health, vigor and strength to many creatures: not a month after birth, she reversed years of mistreatment on a horse,[14] and through the next years she healed several aches in her community.[15] When she joined up with Marrec's party, they found her healing touch to be capable of reversing damage, though she seemed to distribute it randomly, sometimes ignoring dying people in front of her. Her touch was also capable of reducing vampires to nothingness, just like sunlight could, and she disintegrated an uthraki spy for Gameliel with it too.[16] When she was most in touch with her divine nature, she could grant redemption in the name of Lurue.[11] When fighting the Rotting Man, she managed to thwart many of his attacks.[17]

The step-daughter of Talona was possessed of physical strength matching her size, and of frightful regeneration. Her very presence sucked away the light of Lurue from the world, weakening the clerical abilities of priests like Marrec.[1] She was also capable of devouring the other sliver of her power, Ash; however, recovering the last of her light proved, alongside Marrec's encouragement, sufficient for her to self-destruct and immediately be reborn as Araluen.[18]

The fully restored Araluen had recovered her divine light enough to battle the Rotting Man and make him flee Dun-Tharos.[6]

Possessions[]

A pony named Henri was procured for Ash in Culdorn.[19] The Nentyarch gifted her with a magical leather bridle, chased with green thread, that allowed the horse to always find its way back to safety, to Yeshelmaar, and to never lose its way.[20] The fully restored Araluen carried a blade of celestial fire.[21]

Activities[]

Until 1373 DR, both Ash and the Step-Daughter of Talona remained in their place of birth: Ash remained in Fullpoint with her adoptive father, Hemish,[22] while the Step-Daughter remained encysted in the Thieving Ash at Dun-Tharos.[23][note 2]

Relationships[]

Ash loved her adoptive father, Hemish, and she was totally taken in with her pony, Henri.[19] Though her feelings towards the traitor Fallon were unclear, she redeemed him for his betrayal;[11] the Step-Daughter of Talona seemed to have no strong feelings other than her obedience to the Rotting Man.[17] After the synthesis of both aspects restored Araluen, she kept Ash's feelings rather than the Step-Daughter's.[6]

History[]

After the Rotting Man began his activities in the Rawlinswood on 1362 DR, the Green Powers promised a Child of Light that would join the fight of the Circle of Leth against him, contesting the power of the champion of Talona.[1]

In 1368 DR, the Green Powers sent a light into Faerûn, full of promise, joy and hope; the Rotting Man set a trap, diverting and stealing that light,[3] with the Thieving Ash.[23] He did not capture all of it, a single drop of light escaping his trap and forming the baby Ash, who was found by the farmer Hemish.[24]

Ash remained in Fullpoint until 1373, when the blightspawned volodni sent by Gameliel attacked the village. She was briefly taken by volodni who sought her as the Horned Aspect[25], but the combined efforts of the Nentyar hunter Elowen, cleric Marrec and Gunggari Ulmarra broke the volodni forces.[7] Afterwards, she joined them (with Hemish's grudging approval) in their quest to reach Yeshelmaar;[26] along the way, a pony named Henri was procured for her.[19] Along the way, she showed the power to annihilate uthraki with a touch.[16] It was only in Yeshelmaar that the Nentyarch explained her true nature to her companions; she showed no indication of being able to make anything out of what was spoken there.[1] He also gifted her a magical bridle for Henri.[20] A traitor amongst the Nentyar hunters, Fallon, kidnapped her there and took her to Dun-Tharos, alongside Henri.[27]

While in the tunnels beneath Dun-Tharos, the Rotting Man attempted to destroy Fallon's personality by planting a compulsion that would hollow him out into a servant; Ash broke his curse, giving him an opportunity to turn against the Rotting Man, which he took eagerly.[28] However, the two of them were captured later by the blightlord Damanda; Ash destroyed one of her vampires in the process.[29] Marrec's party finally rescued Ash from her, but Fallon was mortally wounded during the fight.[30] Ash granted him redemption in his last moments.[11]

On Mirtul 7,[5] once they reached the Rotting Man, she blocked several of his spells during the ensuing fight,[17] but was ultimately devoured by the greater part of her, the Step-Daughter of Talona,[6] who had been gestating in a cyst at the base of the Thieving Ash at Dun-Tharos.[31] Thanks to Marrec's words, however, she was able to recover her full personality, and emerged from the Step-Daughter's flesh in her full power, or at least, in full control of herself.[32] She then battled the Rotting Man, ultimately making him flee The Close.[6] However, this depleted enough of her power to force her to depart the material realm afterwards.[4]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Though never described as a rotvine defiler, she is written by the same author of the corresponding book, her abilities in that form seem to roughly match the rotvine defiler's, and her origin story matches that of a rotvine defiler. This article thus assumes the Step-Daughter of Talona is a rotvine defiler, or more precisely, that the rotvine defiler is written to mirror the Step-Daughter of Talona.
  2. Albeit the Thieving Ash was in Dun-Tharos as of 1373, the forces of Talona had not occupied the Close until 1371. Given the light was captured in 1368, there are either multiple Thieving Ashes or the tree was moved after the capture.

Appearances[]

Novels
Lady of Poison

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 13, pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, pp. 288–289. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. Prologue, pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 31, p. 303. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 31, pp. 298–301. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, p. 30. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  8. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 1, p. 4. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  9. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 1, p. 6. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  10. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, p. 297. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 28, p. 262. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  12. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, pp. 293–294. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  13. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 31, pp. 301–303. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  14. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 1, pp. 5–6. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  15. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 3, p. 23. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 8, p. 72. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, pp. 282–291. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  18. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, p. 295. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 5, p. 45. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 13, p. 129. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  21. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 31, p. 298. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  22. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 2, p. 18. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, pp. 288–291. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  24. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 1, pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  25. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, p. 28. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  26. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, pp. 35–37. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  27. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 14, p. 133. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  28. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 20, pp. 203–205. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  29. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 26, pp. 244–246. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  30. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 27, pp. 258–259. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  31. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, pp. 287–288. ISBN 978-0786931613.
  32. Bruce R. Cordell (July 2004). Lady of Poison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30, pp. 295–297. ISBN 978-0786931613.
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