Superstitions: Nura Khoulaal

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Obsidian Sea
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Superstitions: Nura Khoulaal

Postby Obsidian Sea » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:30 am

The settlements dotting the edges of The Sea of Fallen Stars share many tales in common, deviating each from the next in small regional preferences of narrative and storytelling. A tale alike to one told in many harbours around the sea, Impiltur's people tell the tale of the unfortunate Nura Khoulaal. Unlike the maidens of many such tales, Nura's defining characteristic was her ugliness, not her beauty. It was said that men would actively turn their backs to Nura when she approached them, tentative and hopeful. Her deep, contralto tones were considered not handsome, but masculine to the point of repulsion. No style of fashion or of hair would detract enough from the decidedly unfeminine face of Sarshel-born Nura. Unable to find a man to take her, the Khoulaal family provided for Nura well past her adolescence, and so she was the accidental architect of the family's bankruptcy: just one more thing that repelled friends and alienated family.

Poor Nura was pleading, and went out to sit by the waves upon the Ford Path going south to Relgar. By the obelisk, she threw all her sadness and doubt to the wind, and pleaded with Sune to send her love, for all the light in her life was fading.

Upon the next month (fixed, by most, at Kythorn, coinciding with the Summer Solstice), the vestiges of the Khoulaal family's reputation earned them an invitation to a debonair function being held in the city of Nura's birth. The mannish Nura hoped that this was her sign; her mercy from Sune. Imploring her family to take her, though they were reluctant, Nura Khoulaal made a final gambit in the name of love.

For her bravery of heart, Nura gained only mockery. The ladies of the court laughed behind fans and formed cloisters away from the young hopeful. The men were repelled from her, and so it was that her only hope became the noble prince of a neighbouring land, who was yet to offer his heart to any woman, though they often got his hand. Approaching in desperation - some say bravery - Nura Khoulaal prostrated herself before the young prince, and asked that he be her salvation.

The young prince laughed her out of the ball.

It was that evening, in the year 1212 Dale Reckoning, that Nura Khoulaal made speed towards the place of her prayer, and threw herself into the sea. Sailors say now that a haunting elegy occurs beneath the waters around the city, as Nura Khoulaal travels up and down The Easting Reach in search of a man to take her hand; lift her from the water; and love her. Others speak that The Bitch Queen punished Nura for praying to Sune on the sea's porch, and now She has collared Nura's drowned body, treating the haunted virgin like a hound whose hard head She caresses possessively.

To this day people laughed and tell the tale of Nura Khoulaal. It is the common jest of baudy men that they would sooner bed Nura now, deceased longer than a century and draped in seaweed, than have been one of the unfortunate men of days gone by that were propositioned to show affection to the woman when she was living. Nura Khoulaal's story is as often a comedy as it is a tragedy. But is there any truth in it?
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