The Trials of St. Alessia are a series of religious stories sacred to Novem Deos. They are also honored as sacred in Mos Maiorum, although not to the degree as in Novem Deos. They chronicle the journey of Saint Alessia as she travels throughout Ancient Eurasia, gathering allies for her rebellion against her people's slave masters, the Ayleids.
According to tradition, Alessia escaped forced servitude and fled into the wilderness, where she communed with the gods over a course of ten years, earning their respect and convincing them to help free her people from slavery.
Prior to the Trials of Alessia and the Alessian Slave Revolt, Deosian tradition states that the Ayleids, a race of man-like demons, ruled ancient Eurasia. They enslaved mankind and forced them into servitude and used them in vile necromantic rituals. Alessia was a mortal woman who escaped slavery thanks to what many view as the intervention of the god Akatosh. The Eyelids were Daedra worshippers, and as such were hostile to the Nine Divines and the gods as a whole. After Alessia escaped, she spent ten years wandering the wilderness of Eurasia, communing with the eight divines (Julius Eurasius would not be born nor apotheoses for another 3,000 years) and building an army of slaves and humans to fight the Ayleids. Eventually, she started the Allesian Slave Revolt, which lead to the Ayleids being defeated and the humans establishing the Alessian Empire.
According to Deosian tradition, a descendent of Alessia must wear the Amulet of the Sundered Throne to hold the hordes of Obliviou at bay. However, it is believed that with the apotheosis of Julius Eurasius as Talos, the bloodline passed to the House of Eurasius, and now so long as a descendant of Julius I sits on the throne the dragon fires shall burn.
Let us give thanks to our Gods, for in their righteous beneficence and eternal love for humankind have banished the Daedra and their evil Princes from this land. Glory to Father Akatosh! Glory to Mother Mara! Glory to Stendaar! Glory to Arkay! Glory to Zenithar! Glory to Kynareth! Glory to Dibella! Glory to Julianos!
In times long since past, when the perfidious Ayleids ruled the land and Daedra walked the Earth, humankind was kept as slaves to the Evil Ones. The Ayleids worshipped and gained power from the lascivious and conniving Daedra, and used their power to enslave all mankind.
Life of Alessia
Alessia was a humble slave woman, born to human lineage in the times so long ago. At the hands of the treacherous Ayleids her family was cruelly slain, cut down by their black-iron swords and magicka. In her heart a vengeance doth grew, steeling her against the machinations of the unholy Daedra and their mortal servants. Alessia made a pact with the gods that day. Saying unto them, most holy and righteous, a covenant.
"Gods of mankind, creators of all that be good and holy in this world, I beseech ye. I will undertake whatever trials you offer me, and in return I ask of ye, banish the Daedra from this land! Send them back to the hellfire from whence they came, and free us from our bondage evermore!"
Whence did Alessia do this, a dove descended from the heavens and landed upon her shoulder, cooing a song so beautiful and majestic only could the gods themselves have written it from Aetherius. Alessia understood this to be a sign from Kynareth, the Goddess of Nature and She who is the greatest ally of mankind, for in us doth she find the most beautiful of nature's creations.
Trials of Kynareth
Alessia ventured to the mountains to commune with nature. There she came upon a sacred grove, guarded by the Spriggans of Kynareth, who permitted her entry. She sat in the grove in a ray of sunlight and prayed to the Goddess. Thence, from the nook of a tree, did a ferocious and mighty black bear come forth, bellowing in rage and anger. Alessia continued her prayer, looking at the fearsome beast as it roared in anger. She did not let her hand fall to her sheathed dagger nor break her erstwhile prayer. The bear raised its clawed paw to swing at her with all its strength, and before it could touch but a hair on her golden head it changed into a cloud of butterflies and flew to the heavens. Alessia heard a voice speak to her, almost as a whisper on the wind.
"My child, thou hast shown valiance and courage in the face of my most fearsome hunter. Thou art a true child of nature. I grant thee my blessing. Carry it with the, my child, and whenever thou feelest unease or discontent, bring it close to thine heart and pray in my name, for I am with thee always."
Trials of Stendaar
Alessia came to the town of Anvil, on the blue and majestic waters of the Cytherean Sea. There, she went to the Chapel of Stendaar to pray. Inside, she saw a man, hunched in the pews and engulfed in mumbled, fanatic prayer. She went to the Priest, and asked why the man prayed so intently.
"That man cometh from a lineage that hath committed a great sin against the God of Mercy. His grandfather, a Knight of Stendaar, slew a beggar in cold blood for causing him annoyance. Stendaar cursed his family to live with the weakness and sickness that afflicted the beggar for all eternity."
Alessia, moved by the man's plight, went to speak with him.
"Dear brother, what troublest thee so?" She asked of him.
"Good sister, I am overcome with fatigue and tiredness. I can barely move my head to pray. I ask only that Stendaar take away from me this curse."
Alessia laid a hand on his shoulder, and said unto him:
"My brother, I know that the fault of this curse lieth not with thee but with the perfidy of thy father's father. It grieves me so to see an innocent man bereaved of his strength and fortitude. I offer thee this, before the God of Mercy, I will take from thee thy burden, for no devotee of Stendaar should bear to see an innocent afflicted so."
As she spoke the words, a ray of lite shone through the chapel and onto the man. Alessia felt herself grow tired, her muscles aching. The man slowly stood, eyes aflame.
"By the Grace of the Eight! I can walk! I can run! I am free of this burden! Kind sister, I can never repay the good that thou hast done me. I shall devote my self henceforth to the priesthood of Stendaar. I shall never forget thee."
As he spoke, Alessia heard a voice whisper in her ear.
"Child, thou hast done what few could lay claim to do. Thou hast seen the suffering of an innocent and taken that suffering unto thine own self. Thine actions please the God of Mercy, and we grant thee out blessing. Whensoever thou comest upon injustice in the world, sayest thou our benediction, and remember that ever merciful be our will."
Trials of Mara
Alessia journeyed forth into the wilderness of the land. On the roadside, she came upon a sacked caravan. One man had survived, and old knight who had taken an arrow through his gut. Upon seeing Alessia, he beckoned to her.
"I beg of ye, a favor for an old, dying knight." He said unto her.
"Sir Knight, I am pained to tell thee I have no healing potions, and I fear my magicka is too weak to aid thee." Alessia said, her heart grieved at the man's injuries.
"Never thee mind that, child. My wounds are too grave for any earthly magicka. I am pleased that soon I shall meet the gods in Aetherius. But, I beg of thee, give my amulet and my order's ring to my wife. She liveth not far from here, in the village of Kvatch. She must knoweth what became of me."
"I shall, Sir Knight. And I shall stay with thee to make thy journey to the next world be made in comfort."
"Truely, none can say that Mara's love be dead. Thank you, my child."
The Knight passed shortly thereafter, comforted by Alessia's presence. As she comforted him in his final moments, a small fox came and sat near them, watching with glowing green eyes like emeralds. Alessia took the Knight's amulet and ring and laid his body nobly, and set off for the town. As she did so, the fox followed at her side, unfearing of her presence.
Alessia arrived in the town and found the Knight's widow. She spoke to her gently, with tender care.
"Madam, I fear I bring grave news. I am but a child of the Eight and a traveler, and I came upon a sacked caravan. A Knight there asked that I give ye this ring and this amulet as a sign of his love." Alessia gave the woman the ring and amulet, and the woman thanked her through bittersweet tears.
"Mine husband and I were married for forty-years. I gave him this amulet to remind me of him when he went off to war, and I gave him this ring when he was knighted. Though he may be gone, through these he shall evermore be with me until again we are together again. Thank you, child, you have made an old woman happy, even if it must come cloaked in sadness."
The two parted ways, and as Alessia left the fox looked at her, and Alessia heard a warm, motherly voice in her mind.
"My child, thou hast shone compassion and love where others would not. Thou hast shone that the love of a woman for her husband cannot be vanquished by death. Thy compassion for a stranger was like the compassion of a mother for her child. I grant thee my blessing. May thou always feel a mother's warmth and love wherever thou goest.
Trials of Zenithar
Alessia was traveling through the village of Cheydinal when she came upon a farm. She saw many animals scampering about, and was approached by a weary farmer.
"Sister, wouldst thou help me to find my animals? Some vagabond hath destroyed my fence and all my swine and cows have escaped! I will be ruined!"
Alessia agreed to help, for to refuse aid to those in need was a sin against the gods. She helped the farmer put his animals back, when at last, mud-soaked and weary she was confronted by a massive, angry sow. The sow refused to listen or be moved by force, and it snarled and bit and kicked at any who approached. Alessia, remembering the teachings of Kynareth, prayed to the Goddess of Nature for her intercession in calming the beast.
As she did so, a crow flew from the sky and landed on the sow's back. It calmed instantly, and gently walked back into its pen and laid down in the cool mud. The crow flew to Alessia and perched on a fence-post near her. A gruff voice whispered in her ear.
"Thou hast worked fiercely to aid this man in retrieving his livestock. Thou knowest the blessing that cometh with work and diligence. More, thou hast shown reverence for the Goddess of Nature in thy work. I, Zenithar, grant thee my blessing. May thou always be reminded that work reapeth its own reward."
Trials of Arkay
Traveling on the roads far from any village, Alessia came upon a homestead, populated by a family from the frigid lands of the north, where men worship beasts and drink hearty mede and ale.
"Child of this land, we beg for your help. A necromancer terrorizeth our lands and animals, and hath killed many a traveller who walketh this path. Now, he hath taken our only daughter! We beg of ye, rescue her from his evil clutches, and we shall reward ye however we can."
Alessia, refusing any reward, agreed to search for the child. In the dense, frightening woods behind the home, she came upon a small shack. Guarding it were two skeletons, armed with clubs and knives. Alessia drew her sword and attacked them with ferocious bellicosity, appalled by the violation of life. She slew the skeletons with blade and magicka, and entered the shack. Inside, a perfidious Ayleid sorcerer prepared to sacrifice the child for a necromantic ritual to the evil Daedra Vaermina, cursed be his name. Alessia slew the sorcerer and saved the child, bringing her back to her home. The northmen thanked her and offered her gold and gems, but she refused them all.
"No man nor woman can stand idly by while a foul necromancer defileth the name of the living." Alessia replied. The family offered her food and drink, which she gladly accepted, and also a warm bed to sleep in for the night. As she lay down to rest, Alessia heard a voice as she looked at the flickering light of her candle.
"The cycle of life and death be sacred. No mortal may taketh the power to defile it into their own hands. Thou hast fought to preserve this and to destroy foul necromancy wheresoever thou findest it. Taketh my blessing, child, and remember always that thou art mortal."
Trials of Dibella
One day in the wilderness, Alessia came upon a wild hog, searching for truffles. When it saw her, it approached her cautiously, not daring to come too close. Alessia extended a hand, in it clutching a berry. The hog sniffed at it, and then tentatively consumed it.
"Thou art a peculiar hog." Alessia said to it, and in return it seemed as if its features changed to irritation. The hog turned and began to walk away, but as it did it looked back at her and seemed to urge her to follow. Alessia followed the hog for many moments, until it brought her to what appeared to be an abandoned home. Alessia watched as the hog pushed open the door and went inside.
Inside the home was very little. A bed, table, cupboard, and fireplace. The hog settled itself in front of the fireplace and looked at Alessia. It then looked at the table. Alessia went to the table and found a painting of a beautiful, striking woman, with locks of flowing dark hair and fiery emerald eyes. Underneath it was the title to an ancient song, the Dance of the Lady o Passion. Alessia looked back at the hog, which snorted at her. It seemed to almost snort the first words to the song.
Alessia then noticed the hog's strikingly green eyes, which pierced her with a particular intelligence not at home amongst the beasts of the land. Alessia, overcome by some unseen force, began to sing the song, to which the hog stood and began to sway. As Alessia finished the song, the hog seemed to vanish in a puff of smoke, and was replaced by the beautiful woman in the portrait. The portrait now showed the hog.
"Sister, I do not know thy name, but I thank thee all the same. It has been ages since I was human again." She spoke.
"But how could a woman as beautiful as thyself be transformed into a hog?" Alessia asked.
"Many years ago, I was a daughter of Dibella. I moved here, to these woods, to be alone with nature and its beauty. But a foul witch came upon me and, jealous of my beauty, cursed me to live as a hog for eternity. I prayed to Dibella day and night, and Dibella granted me that if someone came along who knew the words to her most precious song, I could be transformed back to my human self. I thank thee, more than words can express, for thou hast lifted my curse!"
As the woman spoke, Alessia heard a voice in her ear whisper, full of sultriness and allure.
"My daughter, thou hast seen the inner beauty that some hold, and thou art true to my teachings. Thou hast brought more beauty into the world and thus made it a more beautiful place. Takest my blessing, daughter, and see all the pretty things the world possesseth."
Trials of Julianos
Alessia walked upon the path to the great city of Gaiata Alator, and as night fell made camp for herself among an old, abandoned fort near the road. As she warmed herself by her fire, an owl perched itself upon her tent, warming itself as well. Alessia, wishing to tire her mind before she rested, removed a book of riddles from her pack and began to read. As she did so, she heard the owl speak to her.
"That book telleth riddles for simpletons. I have many greater riddles, if thou dost wish to hear them." It said. Alessia looked at it and answered she would. Many a traveller told of the impossibility of the riddles of the owls of the forest. It was said they had been taught the riddles by Julianos or Hermaeus Mora himself.
"Very well. I touch your face, I'm in your words, I'm lack of space, And beloved by birds...what be I?"
"The air." Alessia answered.
"Crafty, thou art. Another, then. In a marble hall, white as milk, Lined with skin as soft as silk, Within a fountain crystal clear, A golden apple, doth appear, No doors there are to this stronghold, Yet thieves break in to steal the gold...what be I?"
"Thou art ann egg." Again Alessia answered.
"Very good, indeed. Perhaps one last one? I tie and hold, capture and bind, yet both knights and knaves doth crave me. I faithfully enslave all within my grasp, whether or not they seek me. Yet those who have never felt my unmerciful hand, are pitied by their fellow Man...what be I?"
"If thou enslave all in thy grasp, but art pitied by those whom thou dost not hold, thou art love." Alessia answered.
"Thou art full of wit indeed, my girl! Not many can solve my riddles. I shall leave thee to thy slumbers, for now the mice are leaving their little burrows and I hunger."
Alessia, now tired, laid down to sleep. As she did so, the owl returned to her tent and settled near her head. Again, it spoke, but this time it was not the same voice.
"I had heard tales of thy piety and thy intelligence from the others, and I wished to test it for myself. Thou art the smartest of all the humans whom I have encountered. I grant thee my blessing, for thy mind is sharp and thy wit is without equal. Remember that logic hath always an answer to whatever question thou positest, but it may not be the one for which thou seekest."
Trials of Akatosh
At last, as Alessia prayed on the mountaintops far above where men dwell, she found herself confronted by the visage of a great dragon. It spoke to her, in a voice older than time.
"Thou hast done what thou wert commanded to do. The gods have given thee their blessings, and thou art worthy to mantle the burden of banishing the foul Daedra from Mundus." Akatosh himself had descended from the heavens to treat with Alessia. He took her hand in his, and He gathered the tangled skeins of Oblivion, and knit them fast with the bloody sinews of his Heart, and gave them to Alessia.
"This shall be my token to thee, that so long as thy blood and oath hold true, yet so shall my blood and oath be true to thee. This token shall be the Amulet of the Sundered Throne, and the Covenant shall be made between us, for I am the King of Spirits, and thou art the Queen of Mortals. As thou shalt stand witness for all Mortal Flesh, so shall I stand witness for all Immortal Spirits."
And Akatosh drew from his breast a burning handful of his Heart's blood, and he gave it into Alessia's hand.
"This shall also be a token to thee of our joined blood and pledged faith. So long as thee and thy descendants shall wear the Amulet of the Sundered Throne, then shall this dragonfire burn -- an eternal flame -- as a sign to all men and gods of our faithfulness. So long as the dragonfires shall burn, to thee, and to all generations, I swear that my Heart's blood shall hold fast the Gates of Oblivion. So long as the Blood of the Dragon runs strong in her rulers, the glory of the Empire shall extend in unbroken years. But should the dragonfires fail, and should no heir of our joined blood wear the Amulet of the Sundered Throne, then shall the Empire descend into darkness, and the Demon Lords of Misrule shall govern the land.'