Karcist Halyna Ieva
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Karcist Halyna Ieva

The Scourge of Iron, The Mother That Demands One's Toes12, The Flesh That Ate3, Subversion of Mekhanical Expectations, The Faithful Heretic

Conspectus

Of all the sick playthings of the Archons, perhaps none can compare to the tragedy of Karcist Halyna Ieva, leader of Nälkä who conquered what is now modern-day Iran. Oh Great Jalakåra, how mighty her Halkost was!45 It was said that she herself commanded seventy score twisted creations of vile flesh, loyal only to Ieva and the Grand Karcist himself, as she tore across Asia Minor from Miletus to Troy during the Great War of Flesh and Bronze.

Mentioning Ieva's name is taboo amongst the Devout, who fear she will haunt them afterwards67. Oh Accursed One, why do you walk among us again?

Illustration

600px-Bell-crater_Scylla_Louvre_CA1341.jpg

A Greek artifact depicting Halyna Ieva. It is believed that they worshipped and feared her as Scylla, one of the two mythical beasts that impeded Brother Jason's travels.

Knowledge

Traits: Ieva herself resembles a human woman of Middle Eastern descent, with raven black hair and dark skin. From the waist down, though, Ieva no longer resembles anything human in nature. Where her legs would be instead lies a writhing mass of tumorous blackened tentacles. Like the arms of an octopus, such appendages are both prehensile and dextrous.8

As to be expected of a Karcist, Ieva is capable of powerful lihakut’ak, the art of Sarkic Fleshcraft. Using it, she can cause rapid growth of any life she wishes. Her wounds close automatically, her gaze instigates tumorous growth in the flesh of others, her breath spreads infections, and, perhaps most importantly, her voice can control her halkost, an army of mindless fleshbeasts carved from the remains of her fallen enemies. Such a deadly combination of rapid infection and tumor growth in her enemies alongside her swarm of abominations makes survival slim for those who draw Ieva's ire.

Nature: During her infamous deathmarch across Asia Minor, Karcist Ieva proved herself to be a dauntless leader and fierce combatant, as she led her horde from the front lines. She often spared none, taking the soldiers of her conquest into her halkost, after which they must pay a price of flesh. Such payments generally take the form of one's toes — making humans her particular choice of prey.910

History & Associated Parties: Writings and artifacts dating to the Late Bronze Age collapse have indicated that a Nälkä woman led an army of raving fiends, toppling the ancient cities of Miletus and Troy in what is now modern day Turkey. However, the army was stopped while attempting to cross the Dardanelles en route to Gallipoli. Devout followers of Wan ambushed her slow death march, hurling naptha and firing weapons of the gods. In her attempt to press forward, Ieva's halkost was utterly torn apart, her fleets of abominations sunken by war machines larger than the Rhodian Colossus,11 taking their Karcist with them. Ieva was declared lost, another casualty of the ongoing conflict. Witnesses report Ieva weaving a cocoon of flesh around herself, enveloping herself fully before she submerged into the waters. Attempts to prove she had died have proven unfruitful, namely due to the lack of anyone willing to go near her cocoon.12

Ieva's followers have had their feet or legs forcibly removed, typically by the Karcist herself, and were subsequently cursed by flesh magic with suitable replacements. Examples of replacement extremities have included: human hands, large abnormally-shaped tumors, fluid sacks capable of creating pseudopods, club-like osseous protuberances, tentacles, a single large human foot with all toes removed, and long braids of black hair which twist themselves into the shape of a human limb.

Approach: Seeing that Lady Ieva is supremely hostile, conflict is inevitable. We urge any and all fellow beings to seek shelter. Currently Brother Ganymede is advocating for permission to use the Ways as a means to escape, but the current consensus is that it poses too great of a risk to the Library herself .

Understand that we state this with a heavy heart, perhaps hearts, for we hate to lose our fellow booklovers; however, Ieva has not been shown to be of rational thought, and an entity that can force His Holiness Bumaro into retreat cannot be allowed to tarnish these glorious halls. We therefore propose an alternative method of escape: carry with you a small satchel with an assortment of toes. Due to Ieva's love for such appendages, it acts as a bait for her abominations to go after while you flee for safety. Out of the several hundred entities that have used this tactic, even the rather sluggish Dawn That Wants Citrus has managed to escape her Halkost.

Other Detail: As of recently Ieva has returned, bringing pestilence and disgust with every step.1314 Currently, the Hand and the Devout are working together to halt, or at least impede, her progress. Representing His Holiness Bumaro, leader of the Broken Church, is Alabaster Stahlsbeird, a thaumaturgist specializing in manipulating metal.1516 Representing the Hand and all her branches is Ganymede, a lich who teaches magic to developing mages. With luck, we hope that we can convince the Jailors and even the Bookburners to set aside their feuds with us to counter this indomitable foe, but only time will tell.

Observations & Stories

Oh Mekhane, when thee smited the Sarkics and halted their progress, how we hoped their conquests would end! Instead, this madwoman remained, aided by the despotic Archons even the Sarkics condemned. A heretic to her kind, and a plague upon us all, why could we not be done with her yet? I pray that thee in thy broken state will bless us, giving us the conviction to hold her off - and willpower to not vomit immediately. ~ Alabaster Stahlsbeird17

… and thus the abominable one descends on our neighbor Troy, civilians and soldiers alike running as fortress walls collapse, fleshbeasts howling as naptha is desperately hurled. Scores of abominations trample screaming children, clouds of malaise waft among survivors. Oh Wan, is this the end? ~ Excerpt from a Mekhanite soldier's journal, dated to the First War of the Flesh

Oh, how we hate her! The accursed Faithful Heretic, she that embraced those cruel Archons, she that let power blind her vision! Lord Ion himself could not contain her, she who let depravity define her actions, she who brought shame to the Nälkä name ! We are honorable warriors, aiming to purge the world of the injustices we suffered under the damnable Daevites, yet she herself enslaves others! How can we justify our glorious empire when such despotic inquisitors as her exist? ~ a Nälkä priestess, during an interview with Sister Io

One of the first things that children learn is equivalence. If a girl dares hurt someone? She gets punished. If a boy dares insult someone? Punishment. Toes, I believe, are the ultimate insult - something so infuriatingly useless, yet so priceless. After all, we are only born with a set amount of them. We revile those who lack toes as we do who lack limbs, for the infirm are incapable of performing work at an ideal pace. Why, then, can I not exact my vengeance on those who have what I cannot? Ye who mock the toeless, understand that I will come and harvest thy appendages to exact equivalence. You cannot discriminate if no one is different. ~ Ieva18

Doubt

Can one really doubt Ieva? Most definitely, yes. Truth be told, it is impossible to determine whether her deathmarch was so frightening due to her combat ability or sheer luck. She always appeared to strike when the opponents were most lax, causing some to suspect her combat ability is not as great as it might appear, but rather that she is opportunistic.19

Furthermore, her current halkost is nowhere the size of her past self's, which means that she may not be as difficult to manage as the legends indicate. With that said, fighting her is sure to be a suicide mission and as such we still advocate for fleeing until our joint forces can halt her progress.

Finally, Ieva claims that her actions are led on from childhood abuse, but there are no records that show Ieva having ever been bullied, save the typical slave treatment she endured as a Daevic slave. Whether this acts as a means to justify her conquest, or was covered up in a Devout smear campaign remains to be seen.2021

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