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Shan'naal Kyorl'solenurn

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Appeared in chapters   2      8  10 11 12 13 14 15     20 21 22 23      29   32          42 43 44 45 46 47  49 50   53 54     

Shan is a templar who loyally serves warden Chirinide Val'Kyorl'solenurn.

Appearance and Personality

Shan'naal defends his Warden.

Shan'nal Kyorl'solenurn is a drowussu of average height, with a lithe, agile build. His skin is pale grey, as is common for those of ssu heritage, with pale blond hair and steel grey eyes. As a youth, his hair was dyed with black tips; while he still keeps it short and spiked as an adult, Shan at some point stopped dying his hair and has left it at its natural color. On his forehead is a round indoctrination mark, showing his position as a templar.

As a child, Shan wore little armor, leaning towards heavy, dark clothing with forest green gloves with the bow as his favored weapon. Over his clothes, he wore a dark green cloak with gold edges, held in place by a black and white unicorn brooch. As an adult, Shan now wears the standard dark grey armor and black clothing commonly found among Templars, with a white tabard and cloak emblazoned with the Kyorl'solenurn symbol on front. His headband, formerly covering his eyes as a youth, now is worn on his forehead, covering his indoctrination mark.

Shan was born into the Templar caste, and assigned at a young age to be the guardian to Chirinide Val'Kyorl'solenurn. As a youth, he had a very relaxed personality, but showed a focus and serious demeanor when trouble called. He is extremely protective and devoted to Chirinide, who he originally saw as a sister, but later developed romantic feelings for her. As a youth, he was very content to follow the beliefs and orders of his clan, but after meeting Kyo'nne Val'Illhardro during Ariel's search for Faen, began to reconsider his views about the lath people.

Later, as an adult, Shan began to question his clan's motives more, as his morals and personal code of honor began to conflict with his assignments. He has been caught in a tug of war between what he was taught as a templar and what he feels is the right thing to do, and often misses his former companions while wishing to return to the "good old days." [1]

Biography - Arc I

The Daughter of the Holy Eye

File:Shannaal 2.jpg
Shan'naal shooting at demon-possessed drow.

Shan was introduced as Chirinide arrived at the Kyorl'solenurn school, where he was listening to a lecture from Valadrielle. Quick to gather his belongings and leave, he escorted the young warden-in-training on her way to join up with Ariel Val'Sarghress for her upworld journey. Chirinide spoke of a vision she had had of a demonic outbreak in one of the Sarghress districts, and told of her recent nightmares. Shan pointed out that Kyo'nne's clan was known for their spellsong, and could very well be the music that pierced the darkness in Chiri's dream. After collecting the Val'Illhardro girl from her jailer, they encountered the templar Tir'ade, who had also been in the young seer's vision and brought news that confirmed Chiri's vision.

Following the templar in an attempt to quell the attack, Shan'naal guarded Chiri's back as she closed the portal. In the process of fighting off the demons, Tir'ade became tainted, proving that the seer's vision had come to pass. Kyo began to complain about what she felt was a barbaric practice after Chiri slew the wounded who had been taken. Shan replied that it was their duty to protect innocents by killing the tainted, even if it meant being hated. Refusing to follow their clan's practice of submitting to death upon tainting, Tir'ade made his escape, dodging Shan's arrows.

Journey to the Overworld

After returning to Shimi'lande to report the recent events, they were shocked to witness the dollified body of Kami'seide Kyorl'solenurn, a Warden and friend to Shimi'lande. Shan tried to comfort Chiri, who was visibly shaken by Kharla'ggen Vel'Vloz'ress' "gift" as Shimi'lande they would do everything in their power to recover what they could of Kami'seide. After reporting the portal and demon incursion, along with Tir'ade's desertion, the two are told by the Illharess to focus not on the sight in front of them, but instead concentrate on the journey ahead. [2]

Locating the Sarghress heir at a market picking up supplies for their trip, they attempted to follow her discretely, only to be found out by Melodia. Shan joked about the two being "busted by a cat," claiming that visions must not account for animal actions. As Chiri attempted a formal introduction, Shan took advantage of a momentary distraction to shorten the greeting, explaining that they wished to go with her to the land above [3]. In exchange for allowing them to tag along, Ariel insisted that Shan and Chiri promise to explain their motives and to tell her everything. To Shan's surprise, Kyo insisted on coming along on the upworld journey, saying that wherever "Shanoo" went, she would go too.

Battle in Wakon Cavern

The Sarghress caravan traveled towards Machike, and the young group of travellers begin to bicker amongst themselves, with Chirinide growing annoyed by the lax attitudes of the others. Shan attempted to stay out of any arguments, and eventually settled down to play a board game with Kyo. As Shan was about to make a move, the cabin was hit by a large cannon blast, damaging the large carrier beast's cabin. The kids escaped relatively unharmed, thanks to Chiri's warning just before the attack. Kyo chided Shan after they recover from the blast, joking that the next time he was about to lose a chess game, he could try a less explosive method to quit. [4]

The party escaped while the rest of the caravan's escort prepares a counter-attack on the dwarven bandits, making their way to Wakon cavern. Ariel's guardian Vaelia was soon subdued by the Highland Raider who was acting as their guide, surprising the younger drow. After the traitorous soldier began to monologue, Shan commented that he appears to be a stereotypical villain as the younger drow prepare their own counter-attack. Kyo let out a whistle, attempting to stun the traitor, who then struck her down. Shan attempted to fire an arrow, but it was blocked by a mana shield. With teamwork from the rest of the team, including Melodia, Ariel was able to finish off the so-called villain, ending him with his own sword. Shan held the wavering Kyo as two newcomers approach.

The newcomers showed themselves to be Kiel'ndia Vel'Vloz'ress and Naal'suul Val'Beldrobbaen, who had come to "rescue" Kyo. Kiel began taunting Chirinide, causing a fight to break out amongst the young drow. Kyo jumped onto Chirinide's back, lulling her to sleep with spellsong in an attempt to stop the fighting. Shan carried his warden away from the others, telling Kyo that he would kill anyone who dared insult Chiri again. [5]. An agreement was made amongst the young drow that they would continue together toward Machike, without any further conflict. During the rest of the trip, Shan continued to support Chirinide, listening to her many complaints that they will not be able to properly protect Ariel while the tainted are traveling with them.

Eventually, the group reached Machike'Shikumo, with Naal and Kiel parting from the main group. The rest finally reached the surface, with Chirinide continuing to proselytize to the others as Shan watched on with dismay; he eventually apologized to Kyo, admitting that things between them all were getting complicated. He showed sympathy to Kyo later, offering to help her with her bags as she fell behind during their trek up through the Sea of Clouds.

The Temple Outpost

The two listen to Judicator Lioshi's words in shock[6]

During a rest for the night at Dokkalfar Pass, Chirinide moved to a hilltop, praying for guidance from Sharess. Shan'naal joined her, teasing that she looked like a light elf in the moonlight. After calling Ariel over - who strangely enough looked like a dokkalfar in the same moonlight - the pair of drowussu requested a detour so that they might make a pilgrimage to the Order of Serenity Outpost.

That night, Chiri received another vision, this time involving treachery by their half-dragon companion. After attempting to murder him in his sleep, the half-dragon accused her of treason. Shan defended Chiri, stating that she would never endanger their group and reassured her that he believed her. Frustrated and insisting that she couldn't trust anybody, Ariel dismissed Shan and Chiri, telling them to get lost and to "go do your pilgrimage thingy." The drowussu left the group reluctantly, stating that they had made their choice, with Kyo insisting on traveling with them in an attempt to change their minds. [7]

Upon reaching the Order of Serenity Outpost, which appeared to be a quiet, peaceful but small temple. Shan took in the surroundings appreciatively, commenting that he wished he could have such a laid back job when he grew older. [8] Chirinide scolded him however, stating that she would need him by her side when he was older. They greeted one of the servants, Se'tewa, and were welcomed to the temple.

After asking to speak to the leader of the temple, the group was led to an upstairs balcony and introduced to Judicator Lioshi - a Vanir who showed signs of mana deprivation and old age. After discussing the purpose of the temple and the race's status as children of the Vanir, Lioshi commended Shan'naal, calling him a young man with a heart of steel, and charged him with continuing to support Chirinide since the two were the future of their race. They asked for further guidance regarding the Daughter of the Holy Eye; after advising them to continue to support Ariel and become her guardians and guides, he commented that the clan would need allies in the future, or the drow race would never return home. Additionally, he jokingly advised that if the burden was too much to bear, they were free to jump from the balcony in front of him. They declined the old Vanir's offer, and turned down an offer to stay at the temple as well, stating that they would not falter in Shimi'lande's orders. [9]

Cleansing of Nagyescsed

The trio made plans to rejoin Ariel and left the monastery, with Chirinide vowing that if Shimi'lande were eventually sent to the Outpost like her predecessor, Chiri would follow her. They continued towards Nagyescsed, with Chiri constantly receiving visions of slit throats and blood-filled bathtubs. They took shelter later at a jointly owned Illhar'dro/Nal'Sarkoth outpost, catching up on news of the halme encroachment over the past few years.

After leaving the outpost, the trio reaches the outskirts of the Nagyescsed region, where they were ambushed by halme riders on horseback. They were quickly outnumbered, but were saved in the nick of time by a timely intervention of Ariel and her group. Together, they infiltrate the halme castle, locating Faen and several other elves in the process. As they moved through the castle, Chiri and Shan discover the source of her recent visions - the ritual sacrifice of elves by the rulers of Nagyescsed, who believed that bathing in elf blood would give them immortality. After a short separation during the battle, Shan located Chiri standing over the body of the halme king and queen, having interrupted their recent sacrifice. As they were surrounded by more halme guards, he again stated that he was her blade, and the pair fought their way back to their companions. [10]

After fighting their way clear of the guards, Shan and Chiri rejoin Ariel's group, who have also been joined by a squad of Highland Raiders tasked with supporting Ariel's mission. Noting that most of the elves that had been rescued were light elves and a fellow Kyorl'solenurn named Myou, the drowussu offered to escort the freed elves to Vanaheimr, the home of one of the younger Vanir who had been captured. Chirinide expressed concern about the Sarghress heir's safety, but Shan reassured her that between Vaelia and the Highland Raider's presence, Ariel was sure to make it back to Chel unharmed.

The Road to Vanaheimr

Northeast of the Mist Sea, the refugees found themselves again hunted by men on horseback, this time during a thunderstorm at night. After sheltering in a small hut, Shan used his metal sorcery to reshape the door's lock, barring the halmes from entering. The next morning, the group resumed their trek, traveling at least two more days before reaching the mountains. taking down a small camp of halmes along the way in order to resupply. As they reached the peak, snow began to fall, causing Shan to lament how much he missed the warmth of Chel. [11]

Days later, the group of drowussu and Vanir reached the mana forest surrounding Vanaheimr, noting the presence of mana coursing through the tree branches and trunks. Shan began talking with Chiri, and noticed she was having another vision. After a short pause, Chiri came to, crying out a warning for Shan to get ready. While fighting off the suddenly active forest branches and tendrils, They noticed a figure abducting Freyja, the younger Vanir who had led them to Vanaheimr. Shan engaged the attacker, and was quickly subdued due to the other's superior fighting ability. The attacker was then engaged by Chiri, who gave him a strong punch to the jaw, saying Shan was her blade, and to challenge him was to challenge her. She was about to finish him, but was stopped when Freyja revealed that he was her older brother, Freyr van Niroenir, who had come to rescue her.

Freyr insisted that they follow him back to Vanaheimr, as the forest guardians were awakening. As they entered the city of Kvekya, Shan made note of a gigantic tree they passed, along with questioning why they were being led through the city via back routes and hidden walkways [12]. Freyr explained that it was best to keep the populace from finding out about their presence until the Vala, or queen, could decide what to do. As they approach the tree, Freyr advises them of their arrival at the Spring Palace, explaining some of Kvekya's history as well. After receiving a hug from Freyja, the group was led to a bathing area, where they were allowed to bathe and rest.

Despite the gender segregation, Shan'naal expresses that he cannot be separated from his warden.[13]

During their bathing, Shan first witnesses how segregated the Vanir are, as even the males and females are separated, leaving him to bathe alone. He rejoins Chiri and Myou in their room after the group has retired to their beds, stating that he was Chiri's blade and that they should not be parted. Upon receiving a look from Chiri, he admits that it felt strange to be alone. He and Chiri agreed to share a bed, though he politely turned down her offer to exchange nightclothes. [14]

Later, during the night, the three drowussu awoke to find themselves being attacked by veiled assassins. After escaping out through the window, they traversed a narrow ledge, stopping at a window and discovering that the other Vanir refugees were being slain by the same assassins. Shan consoled the distraught Chiri, who regretted having brought the group to their unwitting deaths [15]. Shortly afterwards, Chiri nearly fell from the ledge, having been struck by another vision - this time of more assassins waiting at the end of the ledge. Chiri was then pulled from them by a guardian tree, to Shan's horror; he noted the presence of a fire brazier and called out to her. Using the embers, the warden was able to use the fire to free herself and fight off the destructive trees.

Insisting that she would be fine, Shan urged Myou to continue forward, attempting to find a way to the ground and that they would join Chiri there. Crawling back into the building through another window, he leads Myou through the palace, heading for the lower levels. After encountering a group of Vanir servants, Shan takes a ring from one of them, learning it is a key to open the wooden door leading out of the Spring Palace. As they try to pass, they are met by a pair of guards, who question their presence and attempt to stop them.

To Shan's surprise, the guards received an order to stand down, as Freyr stepped out of the shadows to join them. The Vanir explained that his people always do what they're told. He led the drowussu to the edge of the forest, where Chiri awaited them, wearing Freyr's hat and cloak to cover her burns. Shan embraced her, asking if she was alright; she admitted that everything hurt, and felt that she was now hideous. Giving her a smile, Shan told her he didn't think she was hideous.

After Freyr led them to what was left of their belongings, Shan commented that their people and the Vanir were not very different, after Chiri confirmed the murder of their traveling companions as a sort of purge. Freyr gifted his rapier to Chiri as compensation for losing her own blade in the escape, along with a trinket that would allow them to locate emergency supplies along the road and to exit the forest unharmed. Shan continued to try to console the upset Chiri, explaining that the Vanir would most likely have ended up as slaves had they taken them to the Underworld instead. He also commented that it was the first time Chiri had ever given him a hug. [16]

One month later, during the year 1099, the disheveled trio finally arrives back at the Order of Serenity, with Myou tearfully exclaiming happiness at coming home.

Biography - Arc II

Passing of the Holy Mother

Shan'naal is unable to be at Chirinide's side, during the Judicators' annoncement.[17]

Shan'naal is reintroduced returning from a duty assignment with Re'van, where the pair of Templars had helped to quell a civilian uprising near one of the wall construction sites. He was greeted by Chiri, who expressed happiness at seeing him again; Shan merely mumbles an acknowledgement and returns to his room, shutting the door loudly. Shortly afterwards, he rejoins her, commenting that her offer of going on another patrol would be welcome. When asked what was bothering him, Shan vents his frustration, telling her that they had had to kill civilians and kinfolk during the uprising, not the tainted. They had been pelted with rocks and other unmentionable things until their judicator ordered the protesters be cut down - Shan said he had never felt so despised in his life, feeling ashamed that he had obeyed. [18]

As they proceeded to lunch before their patrol, Shan asked if she had any news regarding her next duty, as the Sarghress were now considered the enemy. Chiri replied that she had been asked to meet the Vanir ambassador, Freyr, as the Order of Serenity had been in contact with their light elf kin for the last two moons. He showed surprise, stating that it was incredible, and a good sign amongs all of the recent bloodshed. They continued to talk amiably, with Shan jokingly asking if she had considered pulling her hair up in a side ponytail. Chiri was not amused, however, telling him to never compare her with "that girl" and asking if he still saw her. Shan admitted he had gone to her last show, but had not spoken to her, being content to just watch.

At a table nearby, the pair watch another group of templar and wardens having a heated debate over the Sarghress situation. Chiri attempts to ask for news from them, but was rebuffed by one of the wardens. Shan stood up to defend her, but was stopped by Chiri. They sit back down and are about to continue their meal, when they are again interrupted by a procession of wardens, judicators and inquisitors. Shan commented that things were steadily going from bad to worse.[19] They agreed to finish their dessert in their rooms, while Chiri changed into something more appropriate.

A short time later, Shan escorts Chiri to the Val'Kyorl'solenurn fortress, where he noticed that there was something wrong, even without being a seer. They are quickly summoned to join Judicator Cas'nihlus, who Shan commented was the judicator who ordered the deaths of the civilians. Chiri then leaves with the judicator to attend the body of the murdered Shimi'lande, leaving Shan'naal behind.

Later, he witnesses the combined funeral of Shimi'lande and coronation of the new Holy Mother, Vala'drielle. He quietly spoke to himself, urging Chirinide to not make the same mistake he had by following the judicators' orders to endorse the new Illharess. As the ceremony concluded, he rejoined Chiri, witnessing a short exchange between her and Kousei, leader of the Order of the Twin Eyes. After asking her what he said, Chiri merely stated that Shimi'lande would be avenged. [20]

Shan then escorted Chiri to the place where she had originally been found, having been led there by one of the last visions she had had of Shimi'lande before her death. He watches as she explained how she had been found by Shimi'lande, badly burned and her family gone. After finding a message from the deceased Holy Mother, he gave her another hug, attempting to comfort her. They were soon approached by Kyo'varde and Lysire, who asked Chiri what the big secret was all about. Shan asked forgiveness for being so blunt, and told them that it was none of their business.

Kyo'varde demanded to know what was in the message, hoping to find information that would help with their investigation. Chiri refused to tell her, and Shan warned them that he would not let their kind get a hold of her. The other warden asked if they are with them or against them, to which Chiri said that she would follow Shimi'lande's last order - to follow her own path. [21]

An undisclosed time later, Shan and Chiri arrived at the Sarghress fortress, asking to see Ariel and offering their service in exchange for going with her to the overworld, as there was someone up there that they needed to meet. [22]

Return to the Overworld

As Ariel and her squad were about to leave to join the Highland Raiders, they were joined by Shan'naal and Chiri'nide, who provided the squad leader Mira'linn with orders from Koil'dorath. Ariel gave them a smile and bid them welcome to the clan, though Shan argued that the uniform came as a requirement. While Shan was "welcomed" physically by a member of the squad, Chiri explained that they are at Mira'linn's command until they parted ways on the surface. Faen also welcomed them, telling Shan that she felt safe with him around. Shan thanked her, commenting that it was good to know that his presence was valued. Sarnel reasoned out that they had been exiled from the clan, noting that they wouldn't have tried to blend in with the Sarghress unless they were in a desperate situation - they were both one of the Sarghress now. [23]

The squad reached Dariya'ko on the nineteenth cycle, where they stop for rest and food at one of the district offices. The next day, the new Raiders reached the surface, where they encountered a small settlement that had been burned to the ground. Other members of the squad asked the Kyorls if they had set any colony on fire recently, to which Shan and Chiri replied no - the clan's only foray into the old world was north of the pass and of little consequence to the affairs of other clans. [24]

Hermionne Invasion of Ys

Uppon arrival at the colony of Ys, Shan noted appreciatively that it was a cold but nice place. Taking a brief respite, Shan agreed to go with Chiri to look at the stars on a nearby hill, picking her up and carrying her. Later that evening, an alarm broke out, and the squad was called to action as several fires were reported. While Chiri attempted to use her fire affinity to control and put out the fire, Shan spotted a cloaked figure running away from the blaze. Giving chase, he attempted to subdue the figure, who turned out to be a Hermionne armed with a torch and combustible materials.

With the help of Zan'nah and Ash'arion, Shan managed to capture the Hermionne, cornering him at a rock outcropping. As they held the Hermionne at bay, a strange airship passed overhead, drawing their attention.

Following the Airship

The next morning, Shan was practicing his archery when he noticed Chiri making her way to the stable below the archery range visibly upset. He followed her, asking what was wrong and commenting that she would freeze if she went outside dressed as she was. When she refused his offer to go back inside, he knelt down, wrapping her feet with some cloth. Chiri praised him, commenting that he was always so thoughtful, to which he replied that it was a blade's duty to take care of his warden. Chiri thanked him, and asked him if he was only her blade. Shan blushed, and told her that she was more important than that, receiving another hug from Chiri.[25]

Later that morning, the Sarghress are evicted from their safehouse by the colony administrator. Half of the group returns to report the change in events to the clan, while the other half follows Ariel to chase down the airship at Felde. As they traveled, she asked if the Kyorls are sure that they wanted to join her, since they had mentioned having business at their outpost in the north. Shan replied that the meeting with the Vanir was not for at least another moon, and they would rather be useful in the meantime. [26]

An Invitation to Felde...and Battle

Countering Yuh'le's deadly high sorcery.[27]

Upon arriving in Felde, the squad was shocked at the arrival of a gigantic turtle made of stone. Shan'naal quickly identified it as a summon, having felt no life coming from it. They are allowed entry into the fortress at the center island of Felde, thanks to the invitation that Ariel had received from Lulianne during their earlier visit with Mel'arnach. They encounter Kyo'nne, who led them to their rooms, and then escorted Ariel and Faen elsewhere and warned the Kyorls to stay locked in their rooms. [28]

While resting, Shan noticed that Chiri was in the throes of another vision - this time, seeing Ariel's death, with people surrounding her and doing nothing. Taking this as the signal to leave, Shan and Chiri took action, setting their room on fire and gathering what squad members they could find and making a break for the exit. While they were held up at an elevator platform, they encountered Kalki and Sasi, who had chased them with the intention of killing or tainting the remaining members. As they fought the pair of psychotic Nidrachaal, the battle was soon interrupted by the arrival of the Mimanied invaders. [29]

Taking advantage of the new arrival, the Raiders managed to evade Kalki, attempting to find their way out of the fortress. As they fought their way past a large metal golem, they encountered another Kyorl - this time with the diamond mark of an inquisitor. Shan questioned the Kyorl, asking if she was friend or foe. They received no response; instead, they found themselves being attacked by a strange type of empathic assault, which began to cause Chiri's nose to bleed. As he attempted to attack the hostile Kyorl woman, he received several wounds from her empathy, including a snapped wrist. In a desperate move, Shan tried a move straight from Sarnel's handbook, headbutting their attacker.

As Shan was about to succumb to the empathic assault, intervention arrived in the form of a now one-armed Ariel, who managed to subdue the empath. He crawled over to Chiri, who still had not regained consciousness and was being treated by Faen. Realizing that she would have died without Faen's own empathy stabilizing her, he profusely thanked Faen, telling her that she had saved Chiri. [30] They began a quick headcount, realizing sadly that they would be unable to save Riz'ria. Ariel chose to look for the rest of their party, while Shan and Faen evacuated Chiri and went to look for the others.

The squad regrouped at the bridge leading towards the mainland, where Kiel'ndia Vel'Vloz'ress offered them a lift back home as a thank you for Ariel getting them past the guards. Shan told Chiri that she didn't look well, though she said she was only feeling a little light-headed. Both agreed that the Vanir meeting would have to wait, as the presence of Kyorls at Snadya'rune's meeting was of more concern. [31]

Words For the Remembered

After returning to Sarghress territory, the squad was finally able to stop long enough to hold a funeral for their fallen squadmate, Shala Val'Sharen. Shan watched wordlessly while Chiri presided over the memorial, sparking the funeral pyre with her flames; Kau Val'Sharen followed, along with Ariel and Sarnel finishing, adding his own torch to the pyre. [32]

A Message from the Order of Serenity

Shan'naal and Chiri'nide were found practicing in the Sarghress weapons yard when Ariel arrived, carrying a missive from the Order of Serenity outpost. Chiri opened the missive, and was alarmed to find that the message reported the arrival of the new Holy Mother at the Eastern Gate, but was five days behind. Shan commented that the arrival of another Holy Mother with Valla'drielle still in charge would only stir up trouble. Ariel offered to join them and began to shapeshift into a drowussu, hoping to escape babysitting duties by going on another mission, but was declined, as Shan pointed out that she was way too tall. [33] Chiri jealously stated that he had been staring at her, which Shan replied was due to her hair being like Chiri's when shapeshifted, but "crazy."

Later on, while Shan and Chiri were donning their warden and templar armor, they continued to discuss the mission with a grey-skinned Ariel. Shan pointed out that even if she had looked the part of a Kyorl, her lack of knowledge of the Kyorl'solenurn path would not have allowed her to fit in effectively. Chiri continued, explaining how Ariel's path was different, but not necessarily wrong and that she should do what she must to keep her path pure. Shan added that they would deal with their clan, as it had lost itself along the way. Ariel wished them luck, and told them to try not to be gone for years this time. [34]

Meeting Anahid

Shan'naal and Chiri traveled to the Eastern Gate, finding out along the way that the Nal'Sarkoth have abandoned the district and retreated to their own fortress. They encountered a looter, who offered to sell them drugs and spoke of a grey-skin "with crazy insane hair." Thinking it was Ariel in disguise, they entered the ruined gate building, calling out for their former squadmate. Shan nearly walked into a surprise attack, but was stopped by Chiri. The potential attacker proved to be Raveena, a member of the Order of Serenity who had been acting as guardian to the new Holy Mother.

Raveena guided the two to meet Anahid, the new Holy Mother. When asked what sort of person the Holy Mother was, Raveena said that she was a kind guide. As they approached, Shan couldn't help but comment that her riding dawmere was the fattest dawmere he had ever seen. Anahid, who was very proud of her dawmere, asked if she wasn't the most beautiful daw he had ever seen. Shan, attempting to be diplomatic called the dawmere "unique," causing Anahid to ask if all templar were as charming as he was. She also told him, to Shan's alarm, that it was no wonder the Vanaheimr princess loved him.

Shan then offers to saddle the dawmere, named Cinnamon, while Chiri and Raveena discuss who they could turn to in order to present Anahid to the clan without getting killed. They settle on contacting the Order of the Twin Eyes, as Kyo'varde and Judicator Kousei had offered them to join the order in uncovering what happened to Shimi'lande. In the meantime, they took shelter with Ari'nara, an empathic Inquisitor who had recently questioned the Kyorl path. [35]

As Kyo'varde arrived, Chiri sensed that she was about to punch the young Holy Mother, and stepped between them. Kyo'varde smiled appreciatively, commenting that her skill was still sharp and to follow them. Once they reached the meeting place, where they were expected to meet Kousei, they instead found an empty chamber. Suspecting foul play, Kyo'varde and her companion, Lysire, decided to investigate the Order headquarters after admitting that their Order had been hunted down one by one. Shan felt the urge to go with them, in order to build trust with those daring to help them. Since Chiri would surely be captured if she accompanied them, he would have to leave her behind. [36]

Confrontation at the Order of the Twin Eyes

Carrying the gravely injured Kousei, Shan'naal cannot believe the Judicator's revelations about nether summoning. [37]

Shan'naal, Kyo'varde and Lysire arrived at the order headquarters, only to find it had been subject to a massacre. Shan mentioned that he had not seen any demons, to which Lysire replied that not all demons are from another world. They discover Judicator Kousei still alive, but gravely wounded. As Kousei was explaining that the deaths around them had been at the hands of a single Kyorl, they were interrupted by the arrival of a squad of wardens and templar sent by Valla'drielle to arrest them. Shan was quickly ordered to carry Kousei, while Kyo'varde stayed behind to buy them enough time to escape.

To his shock, Shan watches as Kyo'varde reveals a nether gate, hidden behind a tapestry. The others explain that the Kyorl'solenurn have always had gates in each headquarters for the purpose of disposing of sealed nether demons, and that their clan likely had more practitioners than any other. Shan held back his disgust in favor of saving Kousei's life, opting to follow Lysire through a secret passage and to safety. [38]

Rise of Anahid, Holy Mother

After cycles of dodging their pursuers and moving from safehouse to safehouse, Lysire and Shan'naal finally came out of hiding upon hearing the music from Anahid and her crowd of followers. Feeling that it was the right time to reveal themselves, they join Chiri and the other seers, demanding that Valla'drielle abdicate to Anahid. Shan assisted Kousei in standing steady as he counsels Valla'drielle that there had been enough killing, and perhaps it was time for them to step aside and let the new generation take charge of the clan to lead them back to the light. Valla'drielle denied them at first, but was finally swayed by the words of the rest and fell to her knees in exhaustion, revealing a wound that had been caused during the Puppeteer Incident. She reluctantly abdicated, stating that she hoped Anahid understood the cost of power, for their people's sake. [39]

Later, Shan and Chiri met again, after Chiri had a chance to clean up after the confrontation that had led to another set of burns and much shorter hair. He continued to explain what had happened during the time she had been confined - that at some point, there may have been hundreds chasing them, but they had finally come out of hiding after seeing so many people in the streets, gathering for peace. He continued to comment that Anahid also had changed, and had become the true Holy Mother in every way. When Chiri refused to say anything in reply, he questioned her, asking what was wrong. Chiri refused to meet his eyes, saying that she was ugly; Shan again told her that she wasn't, and that he found her new style to be cute.

Chiri hugged him again, telling him that the couple of days that he had been gone had felt like an eternity. He admitted that it had been the same way for him - that he had never realized how much he would miss her until she was gone. The two embraced and began to kiss, much to Anahid's delight as she watched them from afar. [40]

Biography - Arc III

Life In Shikomei

Chirinide and Shan'naal - now mates - traveled to the surface at Anahid's behest to live in the Shikomei colony on the tail end of the winter season. While gathering wood, he and Tir'ade seemed unhappy with what little deadwood they could find. Unless given permission by Felyn, they could not cut down a living tree.

Their discussion was interrupted by Shinhwa's calls of emergency, urging him to return to the colony. Chirinide had fallen ill while trying to cook a proper meal for him; Dan'suun later revealed that Chirinide was pregnant, and that their child will likely be born different if carried to term on the surface. This worried Shan greatly, despite Tir'ade's encouragement. In fact, Abyte herself was worried about the condition of any children she may have due to their taint, though Tir'ade assured her that any children they chose to have would be pure, and that their path would always be together. Encouraged by Tir'ade's reassuring words towards his mate, Shan gained an idea: to propose a union to Chirinide[41].

The Vows Ceremony Crashers

To Shan's delight, Chirinide accepted his proposal, and he began work constructing their new home with some help from Tir'ade. Noting his companion to be exhausted after they had used earth sorcery to shift some boulders, Shan noted Tir'ade to be unusually fatigued, though the other templar claimed he just needed to catch his breath. After choosing to call it a day, as he also felt unable to continue with their rock-moving efforts, Shan returned home to find Chiri in a sort of daze. Barely stopping her from setting fire to one of the potted plants, he asked if she had been in the middle of a vision; Chiri denied the thought, and admitted that she hadn't had a single vision since coming to the surface.

Several questions began pouring from the young templar, as he attempted to find out what was distressing her. Chirinide became frustrated, voicing multiple concerns about the possibility of their child being born differently - her own experience having mixed parentage had felt like a curse to her, and she was sure that her child would feel the same. Along with her insecurities about her heritage, she had been feeling a loss of control of her own destiny, between the pregnancy and orders to move upworld - nobody would get to make her life decisions for her. Shan then commented that Abyte and Tir'ade had also been told that their own child would be born cursed; Chiri grew affronted at the thought, and demanded to know who had told them that. He then questioned whether she was having second thoughts about their upcoming union...Chirinide assured him that she hadn't, and while she refused to live a quiet life as a colonist, she wanted to stay by his side no matter what. To his relief and surprise, she demanded they hold the vows ceremony the next day[42].

Shan'naal waited proudly the next night while Chiri'nide was led on dawmere-back to the altar, and the two spoke their vows to each other as they performed a hand-fasting. As they were about to finish the vows ceremony, they were interrupted by a wave of dust and wind marking the landing of the newly dubbed Mistwhale[43]. Their podium and decorations -and following vows night celebration - ruined by ship's rather messy landing, Shan was forced to hold Chirinide back as she raged at the new arrivals. As she continued to berate them about their disruptive arrival - and lack of a message ahead of time - he attempted to calm her down, pointing out counterpoints calmly to her accusations. Leaving their new "guests" to negotiate with Felyn'mice, Shan escorted Chiri out of the room, hoping to get some rest.

Their night was further interrupted by the arrival of yet another group - this time, the Sarghress legions, who had been following Ariel's "wolf pack" and the Mistwhale. Shan and Chiri joined the defense of the colony as the Sarghress wolves poured into the colony, attacking everyone in sight. Realizing that the invaders were not differentiating between colonist and renegade Sarghress, the Shikomei residents found themselves forced to flee with Ariel's faction aboard the airship. To their horror, the airship then bombarded the remainder of the colony as they made their exit, destroying Shikomei and leaving those who hadn't made it on board the Mistwhale to the mercy of the Sarghress Legions.[44].

Assault On Felde

Shannal and Chiri agreed to accompany Ariel's team as they invaded Snadhya'rune's Tower in Felde. Acting as scouts, the pair used their training to track demons within the tower's halls. While most of the demonic residents consisted of passive "nurse" demons, the largest nether presence turned out to be a massive gate. After realizing that the nurses meant no harm to Ariel's party due to her status as an invited guest, they began discussing what to do with the gate. Ariel asked the nurses to lead them to it, as they were hoping to find a way to destroy or nullify it, and were led to the top of the Felde tower. Shan realized quickly that the demons themselves were managing the gate, to everyone's surprise.

In the meantime, the main assault force fought their way through the lower levels of the tower, taking on the Feldian militia. When Neh'leanee Vel'Sharen turned to nether summoning in order to fend off the intruders, the summoned tentacles quickly began to overwhelm everyone in the area. The troops were saved by the intervention of the nurse demons, which wrangled the summoned demons with surprising ease.

Shan noted with concern that the amount of demonic energy being absorbed by the nurses was quickly overwhelming them, as they were starting to outgrow their host bodies. They could only watch as the nurses, now melded into one massive super-Nurse, slowly split apart[45].

The team remained in the upper tower, watching the arrival of the Sarghress Legions. Their primary plan was revealed - create enough chaos with their assault to cause the Feldian defenders to turn on the Legions. The plan was nearly successful, as a defender fired at the oncoming troops. Shan voiced his suspicions then that based on their knowledge of the Sarghress, such an act would surely not go unchallenged.

To their disbelief, however, further retaliation was quickly halted by Romakela Sarghress, who ordered the Feldians to stop firing. Sang then showed a familiarity with the Feldian commander, and they both approached the tower together.

The squad attempted to take refuge in the gate room, when Chiri'nide showed signs of having a vision. After quickly ordering Ariel to shut the door, she revealed that she had seen Ash'waren being stabbed somewhere above in Snadhya'rune's lair, but could not provide further directions. After barring the door, they made another attempt to escape down a nearby elevator, but found they would have nowhere else to run due to having to wait for the lift to return.

Shannal fought at Chiri's side as Ariel then confronted Kor'maril and his squad as they waited for the elevator. She questioned him about why they were hunting the Wolf Pack, and it was revealed that they weren't hunting the Pack...they were hunting her specifically. Revealing that Koil'dorath was dead, and with the enemy legion quickly surrounding them, Ariel made the call to surrender to Kor'maril, ending the fight.

Return To Chel

Shannal and the other Shikomei survivors accompanied the Sarghress Legion back to Chel, though it was left ambiguous whether they were considered prisoners or guests of the Sarghress. They bore witness to the attempted trial of Kel'noz and Ariel Val'Sarghress, which led to Ariel's challenge of Mandroga's leadership. After the younger drow defeated Mandroga and took control of the Sarghress, Shan and Chiri were asked to meet the newly crowned Illharess, who asked to meet with members of the colony's allied clans. As Ariel considered Chiri'nide to still be a representative for the Kyorl'solenurn, she asked their assistance with finding a solution to the supply problems that threatened the Sarghress, whether by trade or concession of some kind. Chiri assured Ariel that Anahid would be willing to listen to her request[46].

Marching To War Once More

Knowing that the clan would starve if it did not act, Ariel made the decision to rally any willing Sarghress troops and their colonial allies to march on the Sharen stronghold, with hopes that they could put an end to the Nidraa'chal threat and Snadhy'rune once and for all. Shan'naal accompanied his mate, Chiri, as well as what few Kyorl'solenurn clanmates joined the makeshift army. As they rode towards the citadel, he noted that Chiri'nide and Merri'lyn both appeared to be having a vision, predicting trouble ahead from the Nidraa'chal defenders.

With a sudden cry of alarm, Shan and Chiri were able to take cover after the seer received a vision of a mana bombardment seconds before it began. Once the bombardment had subsided, they fought back to back, with Chiri's prescience guiding Shan's attacks in order to predict the Nidraa'chal's movements. As they fought the assassin, Shan realized with horror that Chrys'tel's warnings had been correct - the white-clad defenders were demons in the flesh, and they would need to destroy the bodies in order to succeed. He then provided a source flame for Chiri, who used her fire sorcery to incinerate the assassin[47].

Notable Quotes

"I'll kill the next person who dares to insult Chiri again." - carrying Chiri away after a brawl amongst the young drow travelers.

"We had to kill. Not the tainted. Our kinfolk, Chiri. This isn't what we were taught to do." - to Chiri'nide, after returning from the quelling of a civilian protest gone wrong.

"It's a blade's duty to take care of his warden." - after wrapping Chirinide's freezing feet during their stay at Ys.

"The path of Sharess is more than simply knowing who she was. It's a path of self sacrifice for the greater good of our races. To preserve their purity and protect themselves until they can return to their homelands." - Shan to Ariel, explaining what it truly meant to follow the Kyorl'solenurn path of worship.

"How else will we build trust if we always let others seek the truth for us?" - Shan to Chiri, as he prepares to leave with Kyo'varde and Lysire.

"I never realized how much I'd miss you until you were gone." - Shan to Chiri, admitting his love for her after Anahid's coronation.

Character Concept