When the first dragon died, many new races came to be, starting with their own first. There was Fenja of the Dryads, Naomi for the Naiads, Oberon, first king of the Fairies and the first of the Elves was named Gillion. These and many more of the races soon grew in numbers, but a few remained alone. She looked like an Elf, but had dark hair and complexion. Where the Elves enjoyed their gatherings and dances, this Elf-like being kept to herself and watched the stars at night, singing to them and the Moon alone. Since she was the only one of her kind, her race was not given its own name and she became to be known as the Lady of the Night. Her name was Lyanna.

People both feared and loved her, for she was the principal protector when night fell, when the malice of darker beings came out creeping, searching for unwary travelers to take into their domain. Darkness was its own master and answered not to Lyanna, but used her cloak for its nefarious deeds. It was the Lady that gave the owls their sight, so that the woods and roads were watched. It was her that gave the bats their ears so that everything would be heard. When someone was attacked, there was always something around to raise alarm. Anything nearby would then run to the aid of the victim, be it a Pooka, Dryad or the Lady herself. She could command the very earth itself and all animals listened to her will, but only because she earned their respect. Lyanna forced no one, only requested aid so that one day the favour may be returned. She knew the reputation of the night, but could do nothing but try to make it a safer place. Lyanna hoped that one day people would see the difference between the night and the darkness of evil.

Though Lyanna liked her solitude, being alone is not the same as being lonely. She had helped many creatures with her work and so she was surrounded with love, and Lyanna wanted to make sure that everyone she was responsible for would feel the same. This was the reason she did what she did, establishing a realm where everyone kept each other safe. This was how it was under the veil of night when Lyanna was alive, mutual safeguarding became the law of everything good, even long after her passing. For though most of the citizens of night were glad to have their guardian, some wanted her gone. They wanted her throne. They wanted the night to be full of fear.

But how do you overtake someone who has eyes and ears everywhere during the night? The answer was simple. You don’t. So they found themselves an ally that moved about in the day, because evil is found everywhere, fueled by hungry stomachs, empty purses and greedy minds. During the day, when the owls and bats were asleep, when nothing was there to help, they came for her. A band of trolls, promised untold riches and power, cut down the tree where Lyanna had made her home among the branches. The trolls found her in the rubble, gravely wounded, and finished the job with sharp axes and terrible hammers. With her last breath, she cursed the trolls and their kind, that if they wanted the dark so badly, they could have it and only that. From that day forward, all trolls would turn into stone when they step into the light. When she died, Lyanna’s body disappeared like smoke. Her body was broken, but her will was too strong. Her enemies would never have complete control over the night. She had never been alone, after all. Others would keep up her legacy.

When the Lady of the Night was gone, there was very little that did not mourn under Moon or Sun. The stars themselves wept for the voice they would no longer hear sing. They threw themselves across the skies and formed the first star shower. Every year on Lyanna’s Lament, as the day got named, the stars would remember her songs and start to cry and fall again. A few stars that were particularly fond of her arranged themselves into a constellation in her memory, the one we call the Lady. Owls, bats, Elves, Dryads, they all visited where once her tree stood, where a new sapling was already sprouting, surrounded by a field of nightshade. No forester could name the tree and till this day, it is the only one in existence, just like there was only one Lyanna. Its bark and leaves are as dark as the night and so we call it the Night Tree.

Lyanna herself may be gone, but her teachings will never be forgotten. She watches over us still and her whispers can be heard on the wind, telling us to love and protect, to not be afraid of the night, only of the things in it, abusing her cover and giving it a bad name. She would want us all to remember that the darkness is the true enemy, that shadows exist just as much in the light and that even in the deepest night, there is always a light to be found. Just look up to the sky and see the stars shine in her likeness. Remember that the Night Tree still stands in a field of nightshade. They will never forget.

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