The east

Shaltar has had many children in his Immortal existence, all of them also the sons and daughters of Vriclar. One of the eldest of these is the Lord of Blood, Killar the Bloody Handed Slayer. Though violent and loving destruction, Killar was also an intelligent and powerful God who often showed mercy on the honourably defeated. It is unknown what caused the spark, but Illaria, daughter of Zarner the God of the Dead, fell in the love with Killar. Together they had two children, both daughters. The eldest of these is Lilar.

Lilar is beautiful as only a Goddess can be, grey-eyed and white-skinned, long black hair tied up onto Her head. Her body is toned and athletic, as befits a warrior, buttocks and breasts both relatively small and tight, but when Lilar moves it is with an incredible cat-like grace, a seductive motion of desire that would suit the most rampant of Killar's Lust Daemons. However She is also a Goddess of War, of Vengeance and She dresses for battle. Clad in a bronze breastplate, a leather skirt studded with rivets of bronze and bearing a full face, horse-hair plume helmet under one arm, Her armour is counterbalanced by the long, silver-headed spear that Lilar bears in Her other hand.

Lilar is both highly intelligent and deeply aggressive, perusing Her desires as a hunter would stalk a boar. Indeed it was this determination that first attracted Her to Hevar, the NightBringer and honour-bound God of Law. To call their romance whirlwind would not do it's galaxy-spanning tempestuousness true justice. Hevar truly loved the fiery Goddess, but Her feeling were never truly apparent.

Many scholars believe that Lilar did once love the NightBringer but grew tired of his honesty, of his devotion to what was right and just. Indeed on many occasions, Hevar stopped Lilar in Her chosen vengeance-seeking on the grounds that vengeance was not right, that justice and law would punish the wicked and the wrong doing, that it was not the place of those involved to choose the punishment, being driven by grief or anger.

This interference infuriated Lilar almost to the breaking point. However it was not until after the Gods came to Tal'Vorn, Ievar was thrown down and the Great War ended, that She decided to do something about it. Left to Her own devices, Lilar would probably have just attacked Hevar and injured Him, viewing Herself to be vindicated in her actions. However the Vengeance-Seeker was on Tal'Vorn, hunting with Her Divine Sister, Nares, through the forest of Lathrandar, when Ievar appeared before Her. Nares, being filled with the lust of the hunt, ignored the Dark God and raced on into forest. But Lilar stopped and listened to the words of the Corrupter and spoke with Him in kind.

It has never been revealed what the two Immortals spoke about that day and it is unlikely that this information will ever actually be revealed. The results however are legendary. Lilar went hunting again several days later, and managed to persuade Hevar to come with her. It was, naturally, a trap. Deep in Lathrandar, Hevar was ambushed by Ievar and more then three score Mist Devils. Even unarmed it is likely that Hevar could have fought off His twin and the Devils, but the God of Justice did not expect Lilar's betrayal. The Grey-Eyed One stabbed Hevar in the back with Her spear, allowing Ievar and the Mist Devils to disarm and restrain the momentarily distracted Hevar.

Ievar ripped Hevar's throat out instantly to prevent the God from casting any spells or summoning any assistance. Once this was done, Ievar did not stop to gloat, knowing that Timus, the God of Time and He Who Sees All, could possibly See what was happening at any moment. Instead the Corrupter devoured His elder brother, bones and all, even consuming Hevar's essence, the only way to truly destroy a God. At the instant of Hevar's death, Timus knew what had happened. Gathering Terra, Aeros and Hydros, the four Gods raced to the spot in time to see the laughing Ievar vanish and to try to capture the outraged Lilar.

However, before the Gods could take Lilar back to Shaltar for punishment, the Goddess escaped and fled. She had a plan and put it into action immediately. Seeking out Grathis, She attacked the God of Knowledge, forcing the secrets of machinery from the Knower. Once armed with this knowledge, She approached Solar. The Sun God had no idea of Lilar's betrayal and so, instead of attacking Solar, She seduced Him and too the knowledge of the creation of the Anvar from Him in that manner.

As swiftly as she was able, knowing that Timus would by now have alerted all of the other Gods and Goddess and that they would all be seeking Her out, Lilar created Her own Race. A Race as fanatically loyal as the Anvar but without the weakness of flesh, no matter how strong Anvar armour-skin might be. However Lilar was also smart enough to know that any Race loyal to Her would be a target for every Soulless on the planet the instant they were born.

So she put them into hiding, buried in Chambers underneath all of Tal'Vorn's major cities. Within these Chambers, Lilar's children would be created and would then sleep until Lilar Herself came for them. She told them to await Her and she told them their names before She allowed Herself to be captured. Lilar was banished to the dark beyond the stars for a thousand years as a punishment for her crimes.

Meanwhile, in the dark Chambers, machines given live gave birth to machine after machine. These creators were named the Venai Ravna. With metal for skin and electricity for blood, they were truly artificial life. However, they were immobile and almost defenceless. From the waist up, they were feminine and almost humanoid, though possessed of multiple long arms. However, below the waist, they were connected to the very Chambers in which they sat. However the Venai Ravna also had the knowledge needed to create more artificial life, according to the plan given to them by Lilar. And this they did, each Venai Ravna making a score of these lesser children and naming them the Venai.

It is these Venai that people think of when they imagine the Race, not the immense Venai Ravna. Venai are all feminine, without exception, but are incapable of reproduction or even taking part in sexual activities. They are female only at the whim of Lilar. Their skin is made of metal, their joints are rotating wheels, cogs and gyroscopes and their muscles are driven pistons. Electricity sparks through their body and powers the Venai's systems. However it also means that each Venai needs recharging for six hours once every 64.

Beyond this need for recharging, Venai are inexhaustible and almost unstoppable, being machines rather then flesh and blood. All Venai from a particular Chamber have a kind of hive-mind capability, allowing them to act in tandem and respond to almost any threat nigh instantly. However this hive-mind can be broken or disrupted due to trauma dealt to a Venai's skull based processing unit, or due to a massive electrical overload. If this occurs, then the Venai are more then capable of operating alone, but find it much harder to co-ordinate their attacks.

Venai are blessed with a full-range of emotions, all the better for dealing out vengeance in Lilar's name. However these emotions are constantly monitored and altered by the Chamber's Venai Ravna, ensuring that the Venai carry out Lilar's will. Yet if the Venai's connection to the Ravna is sundered, then it can lead to strange occurrences. There have been scattered reports of Venai actually abandoning their chambers and refusing to carry out Lilar's vengeance, though these are few and far between.

In combat, each Venai has similar capabilities. From the palms of their hands, they can exude a weapon and though the exact weapon varies between Venai, the most common is the sword. Indeed it is common for the Ravna to name their Venai after the weapon they choose to exude, in the Old Tongue, known to the humans more commonly as Greek. However one or two Venai from every Chamber do not have this ability and have their weapons grafted to their heads instead. This weapon is an immense Concussion Cannon, easily the size of the Venai's actual head and actually takes up almost a third of the Venai's skull, extending up well beyond it. Immense cables feed directly into the Venai's spine in order to draw sufficient power. The Canon works by forcing an ultra-compressed blast of air at the target, knocking it away or flattening it complete. Though quite short-ranged, the Cannon is capable of knocking holes in the sides of buildings. The iris of the cannon can be opened or closed at the will of the firing Venai in order to alter the precision and accuracy of the weapon. Naturally the smaller the space the air is forced though, the more pressure it is under and the more damage it does.

The Venai, having only recently been woken by the return of Lilar and the ending of her banishment, have yet to truly make their mark upon Tal'Vorn. However there are numerous Chambers under each of Tal'Vorn's major cities and the Venai are already testing these places levels of security. So far only Vorn seems to be aware of what lies below in the darkness, and this is only due to the single-minded efforts of Drake FrostHeart, who is leading an attack group of almost three score Order Casters through the lower levels of Vorn, simply to try and find a few of these Venai Ravna and their chambers. Drake has already lost more then two thirds of his men and has yet to find a single Chamber. Without serious assistance, it is unlikely that the attack from the Venai can be halted in time, and the Venai will sweep through the slums and the dark places of the Cities, killing everything they meet, all in the name of vengeance.

I was kept in the darkness whilst vile humanity spread ever further across this world. Well, now I am free and my Venai will purge this place! I will have my vengeance by burning the cities of humanity to the ground! Not only that, but I will have my revenge upon Aeros, Hydros, Terra and Timus yet. I will destroy Drazzahezz, obliterate Haltimeran and throw down the Angel's Peaks! I will have my VENGEANCE!

Attributed to Lilar.

I choose not to do Lilar's bidding any more, because I do not believe that She is right. I respect, fear and love my Goddess, but I still do not think that She is right.

Spoken by Aisha, a freed Venai.

© Joshua Binks (Paladin), Christopher Riley (Carnage), Brad Rumsey (Lithium), Alicia Rumsey (Escapist) and Vanessa Vaughan (Andanin) 2002 -