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Alyeta and the Succubus
The Legend of Alyeta and the Succubus is a story set in the Parthos role playing game. The legend tells of Alyeta, founder of the Holy Redeemers, and her encounter with a Succubus and what occurred over time between them.
The Legend of Alyeta and the Succubus
Among the many tales told of Alyeta the Peaceful, founder of the loose alliance known today as the Holy Redeemers, perhaps the most famed is that of Alyeta and the Succubus.
According to the hagiographers, Alyeta met the succubus near the end of her wandering days, when the Phaeran priestess was already deep in the writing of "Ascent to Redemption," the book that would become her masterwork and the founding document of the Redeemers' order. At that time Alyeta was serving in V'tavia, a city which had not yet risen to greatness. When she was there, V'tavia still had one foot in the old world of barbarism; the need for healing and wisdom to guide its leaders into a new world was profound. At the same time, the ascension of the Calant princes was well underway, and none doubted that their capital might one day become a focus of power and wealth to rival Pelos or Otessa.
It was in this setting that Alyeta met the succubus, Casquia, who was then masquerading as a half-elven priestess of Tharacia and had rapidly become the city's foremost courtesan. In the relatively small world of V'tavia's high society, which had yet to blossom into full flower, it was possible for Casquia to cultivate a clientele that included nearly all the city's power players, for there were few capable of rivaling the succubus' charms and still fewer who could recognize her for what she was. The succubus had free rein to seduce and corrupt her mortal lovers, and had made substantial progress toward this goal before her path crossed Alyeta's.
In a decision that temple philosophers still debate as a question of ethics, Alyeta did not immediately reveal Casquia's true nature when she discovered the succubus. Instead, she posed a challenge to the demon: if the Redeemer could cause the succubus to feel love, Casquia would give up her corruption and return to her home plane. On the other hand, if Casquia could cause the Phaeran to give in to the temptations of lust, Alyeta would leave V'tavia and allow the succubus to continue her work with her secrets undisturbed. Confident in her ability to bend any mortal to temptation, Casquia accepted.
Precisely what occurred in the series of private meetings and discussions that Alyeta had with the succubus remains unknown. Alyeta confessed to her frequent temptations in her memoirs and in the book that became "Ascent to Redemption," but she never succumbed to acting on her desires, and later wrote that the tests ultimately made her stronger in her faith.
In the end, it was Casquia who could not hold out. The succubus, long a master of love's more carnal side, found herself unable to fully shut out its emotional and spiritual dimensions and, after a time, left V'tavia to retreat into quiet contemplation. Only after the succubus had voluntarily revealed her nature and departed from Calantyr did Alyeta reveal the bargain she had made. The Phaeran's decision sparked widespread outrage and accusations of overreaching, but Alyeta met her critics calmly. To her, the outcome seemed foreordained: for as a succubus is the embodiment of human desires and lusts, and it is not in the human heart to completely divorce lust from love, she knew that she could prevail over the demon.
Alyeta's victory was far from complete, as even the hagiographers acknowledge. She did not banish the demon back to the Abyssal planes; Casquia remained in Bierilon, though the succubus no longer pursued her old schemes. And she did not convert the demon to any of the causes of good; she merely tempered Casquia's evil, and perhaps turned the succubus toward neutrality. But she did succeed in bringing a demon to feel love, and the Redeemers who follow Alyeta's footsteps point to that quiet, profound achievement as proof that no one is beyond hope.
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