Test of the Stones

When the Firstborn first floated to Sangrar they met the gods at Jahar in what would become known as the Congress of the Gods.   The Ealar and Elehu attended in person, but the Craeylu looked down upon their handiwork from Tar-Livarre’s grassy balcony.  With Zuras’s Ban in effect, they could not set foot on Sangrar, but that didn’t stop Lillandra from taking over as the mistress of ceremonies.

She told the Firstborn many things – their sacred duty to pray; her Ban against the races mingling lest love gone wrong bring Sorrow to the world; and also the Test of the Stones.

You should already have a good ley of the land when it comes to the Stones.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist the bad pun.  To recap, Annumbra the World Walker raised many Stones when she trapped Erlik in the Darkhold.  Leyrantha, the Stones at Jahar, which numbered forty-nine plus the center Stone, was the largest.

Lillandra insisted that every female channeler come to Leyrantha on her hundredth birthday and submit to the Test of the Stones.  The Stones at Leyrantha, she foretold, would recognize their mistress’s touch and proclaim her with earthsong.  .  Whoever passed the Test wold be Leyrantha’s High Priestess and outrank all the other high priestesses at the other Stones.  Leyrantha’s mistress would be the eyes of the world, able to see and hear anywhere in the world when the goddess was with her.  Male channelers were exempt from the Test.

Taking the Test was a big moment, one the aspirants spent years preparing for, usually under the tutelage of an experienced channeler.  Andis, daughter of Indallar and granddaughter of the Firstborn, had lots of help, one of the perks of her illustrious lineage and her undeniable potential.  When young, she studied under Valdethya, the priestess of Indalle’s Stones (named Candarra), who was the first to see how loud the earthsong sang to her.  As Andis’s hundedth birthday neared, she traveled upriver to Nammovalle and learned from Calavenna at Najahar.  Nammovalle’s Stones were second only to Leyrantha in number and might, and channeling prayers there helped prepare her for the Test.

Andis made quite a name for herself at Nammovalle.  As part of her training, she shared the Stones with Cal and shocked everyone by unintentionally stealing the prayers intended for Cal and channeling them to the Earth Mother herself.  Kandol was there that day and if he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn’t have believed it possible.  Calavenna was a very strong channeler, but Andis was stronger.

The great Stones had been without a High Priestess for eleven centuries when Andis came to Leyrantha for her Test.  Thousands had already failed, but after news of what she’d done at Najahar spread like a viral video, hundreds had gathered to watch her Test, hopeful that the Stones would at long last reveal  the Eyes of the World.

Aeris was one of those who’d come to Jahar to watch Andis take the Test.  His father had forbid him attending, dead set against anything that might interfere with his plans to keep Mist Elf blood pure, but Elras had put a bug in Aeris’s ear that Aelynar couldn’t silence.

Indallar’s entire family made the journey to Jahar for Andis’s Test, including his youngest daughter Ilnaya.  Even for the Fair Folk, Ilnaya’s beauty stood out.  Many considered her the most beautiful Elf maiden of the Elder Days and attending her sister’s Test brought suitors crawling out of the woodwork for her hand.  One of those who just wouldn’t take no for an answer was Daeryss, sorcerer of the Twisted Oak.  Aeris noticed his persistence, which was bordering on rude, and rescued Ilnaya from the unwanted advances, thus beginning one of Sangrar’s great romances, a romance that might never have happened if not for Elras.  That’s just one example of how influential Elras was.  Everything he did had consequences.  Truly, he was fate’s first soldier.

Andis placed her hands on Leyrantha’s center Stone and the earthsong’s symphony proclaimed her Eyes of the World before all those gathered.  Shandilar, the Ravir Firstborn, who tended Leyrantha during the long centuries spent waiting for someone to pass the Test, gladly gave up his stewardship to Andis.

She  tended the Stones for hundreds of years, until the Traitor shattered them and allowed Sorrow a foothold.  Andis fought the Dark Lord when he broke free, but strong as she was, she could not stand up to a god and so she escaped to Ardilun with  the Ravirs and the Earth Mother, where she remained until the endgame.

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