The Summer Heroes
Lyre of the Deathsinger
The myth of the Lyre of the Deathsinger has parallels and permutations in legends across Orem and is known under varying names—sometimes the Harp of the Hellbard, and so on, though the instrument is always stringed. The story begins with two sisters, Lina and Vina, and is frequently set in a land faraway from where the myth is being recounted (e.g. the Lyre’s myth as recounted in Soren usually places the sisters in Hassuna, and the myth as recounted in Darrova frequently places them in Soren, and so on), though their names—curiously—never change. Wherever the setting, the story is generally the same: Lina and Vina are elven twins, but the former has hair as a dark as a raven and the latter has hair as bright as spun gold. Vina’s beautiful golden hair causes another elf, Titus, to fall in love with her. Lina, jealous of Vina and Titus, walks with her sister down to a body of water (usually a lake or the ocean), where she throws her in and holds her down until Vina is dead.
The god known as the Hellbard (or the Deathsinger) witnesses Lina’s crime and pulls Vina’s body from the water; the Hellbard uses Vina’s bones to craft an instrument (e.g. a lyre) and strings it with her golden hair. Titus, distraught over Vina’s disappearance, marries Lina out of grief, and the Hellbard appears at the wedding, disguised as a wandering minstrel. He plays a beautiful tune for the couple and then, after gifting them the lyre, vanishes. The lyre then begins to play on its own, and a melancholy voice fills the room, weaving a song that reveals Lina as her sister’s murderer. Horrified and outraged, Titus kills Lina, which causes the families of the bride and groom to turn on each other and the wedding ends in a frightful bloodbath.
The background of the Lyre is hideous, and it is said that the instrument’s dark power helped to spur the two families on in their rage, feeding on their primal urge towards revenge. Furthermore, the Lyre absorbed much of the power unleashed by the anger and hate, as well as the blood spilled in the conflict, permanently warping the Lyre’s essence into an irredeemably evil artifact. After the wedding party was dead, the Hellbard returned to the site and retrieved the Lyre, which he used to sow discord and division wherever he went. Following the Hellbard’s failed attempt to sing the Allsong and his subsequent imprisonment, the Lyre was lost, though instruments of wicked power occasionally appear in localized myths and legends across the continent, which has led many to speculate that is circulates even now among mortals. It is further said that, with its creator forever banished, the Lyre is powered by the twisted and angry soul of Vina, which has given the instrument a dark and bloodthirsty mind.