Kyriana Alqaviliya (Ash. 'Gift of skill', 'Swan of Alqawen') is a powerful wielder of magic, a priestess and the current Sélviliya; as such she is one of the most well-known Ashani in the world and among the most beloved figures of Ashani society. Prior to this she attained a significant measure of fame as a member of the adventuring band known as the Company of the Crescent Moon. Kyriana's beauty is legendary; it is said that her radiance stands out even among Gods. As the Sélviliya she has been a force for political stability in the region not through political power or manipulation but through diplomacy and empathy. Since the Battle of Yarathera and its aftermath she has focused her attentions primarily on what remains of her people.
Kyriana Alqaviliya was born among the Silsashani in 1521 AS, displaying the violet eyes of y-keletham from birth and was therefore said to be blessed. During her childhood she was raised among the Ashani of Ementaro where she displayed an early and fine talent for magic (especially where concerned with elemental water). She quickly mastered her lessons in magic and language, song and healing. During this period she encountered other Ashani who had visited other parts of the world; from them she heard tales and stories that piqued her interest. She was particularly interested in the Druids of Keledon, due to their shared elemental philosophy; the Three Jewels, as described in the works of Solva Salbo; and Earthspear, the great refuge of the Mardukim.
Her time in Keledon would shape the future course of her life. While traveling in Keledon, the young Ashan encountered a party of travelers that included Borom Dreigar, Tarantar and Marel of Morcham Keep. Traveling together, these four would form the nucleus of the celebrated Company of the Crescent Moon. Their travels together would take her deep into the deserts of Arenar and to the furthest reaches of Ossar; to Haren and to Kindem Habar. In time they added to their number, and Azeem, Grog and Dale of Havan joined the band. Their subsequent adventures are recounted in the songs and tales of many bards and loremasters. During this period both Kyriana and Tarantar discovered ancient magics and objects that enhanced their abilities. The two Ashani became close friends, united by their thirst for greater knowledge. During this time, she journeyed often to Yarathera to confer with the priests and priestesses of Alqawen and became close with many of the Ashani there, including Lalwen Erethar, the Sélviliya, who dispatched her on many a dangerous task.
The fellowship of the Company ended in tragedy in 1728 AS as Tarantar the Red fell into madness and lost control of magic he stole from dark spirits. On Midsummer's night, as the Company gathered in Tarantar's home, the demonic entities with whom he trafficked wrought their revenge. Their attack was sudden and fierce, ultimately destroying the tower completely as they dragged their tormentor screaming into the dark. The Company dissolved in the aftermath of that night; deeply wounded, both spiritually and physically, Kyriana retired to Yarathera in search of healing and shelter.
She arrived in Yarathera in the early autumn. There she was greeted warmly by the Sélviliya, blessed, and taken to the healers. Near Yarathera there was once a small island in a lake, upon which stood a small keep which, while uninhabited, was maintained by the Sélviliya's people. Lalwen offered this keep to Kyriana as a home during her stay. There she began to heal her wounded spirit.
In 1730 AS, a few years after her arrival, she began to attend the shamanic rites of the local Emenashani. During one of these ceremonies the spirits revealed to her that her healing could only be completed by embracing the life of an Ashani shamaness. Lalwen blessed the endeavor personally, and performed the initial initiatory rites.
Already a powerful sorceress, Kyriana soon displayed an equal facility in dealing with the various spirits associated with Ashani shamanism. At this time she began to explore the Otherworld far more than she ever had before; her journeys took her to the Elemental Realms, and (it is said) beyond.
In 1745 AS she was called upon to serve directly in the court of the Sélviliya. There she served as one of the chief advisers and closest friends of Sélviliya Lalwen Alqaviliya until, in 1766 AS, Lalwen died.
Upon the death of Lalwen Erethar the shamans and priests of Alqawen gathered in conclave in order to divine the identity of the new Swandaughter. During the ritual, through which the spirit of the departed Sélviliya reveals the will of Alqawen, Kyriana was selected to assume the mantle.
One of her first acts was to form an alliance of friendship between Yarathera and the Keledoni Knights of the Griffon. In token of her old friendship with Dale of Havan the two agreed to an exchange. The Knights would send one of their best to serve as Captain of the Guard for the Selviliya, who would in turn send a priest or priestess to Griffon Keep to tend to the spiritual needs of the Knights. This pact was rooted in the events of 1768 AS when she joined forces with Dale a final time to hunt down and destroy Rhumed, the Spawn of Valhandres. By 1770 AS they found him and rode forth to destroy him; while they were successful it proved to be the final battle for Dale.
In the subsequent century she displayed a deep wisdom and diplomatic sensibility that served Alqawen well. Despite the officially apolitical nature of her office she soon managed to strengthen relations with Keledon and Akaryth, bringing greater stability to the relationship between the two.
In 1802 AS Yarathera was beseiged by the forces of Sulomyn the Black, a dark necromancer and master of evil magics. Sulomyn's plan involved unleashing an imprisoned devil, Buer, as a secret weapon. Once the great evil made its appearance on the battlefield and an Ashani defeat was all but assured, the true strength of the Sélviliya was made plain. Alqawen came upon her, possessing her body and mingling their spirits together. As avatar of the Swanmother Kyriana blazed forth in might and magic, leading the Ashani warriors out and utterly devastating the forces arrayed against them. Since then Yarathera has remained free of all assault.
The cost of that battle was immense in loss of life. Before departing the goddess healed the wounds of those who still lived, but the dead could not be helped. Within a year the physical marks of the assault had all but been erased. However for the Selviliya the problem of security after this near defeat was a pressing one. Seeking a safe refuge for her people in case of another attack, she treated with Niksa, a great elemental lord of the Seas of the Otherworld. There he taught her a powerful spell to transfer some of the world to his realm; using this new knowledge Kyriana moved the island and keep given her from the lake near Yarathera to a pocket within the Watery realm. How it is accessed is a secret only she knows but it waits as a refuge still.
For the last half century or so Kyriana has led the Ashani of Yarathera as Sélviliya. Her diplomatic adroitness and powerful intellect have served her office as much as the magic she commands.
Kyriana's reputation is varied throughout the Settled Lands of Amallon and the lands ringing Maraseri. They are, generally, tied to the reputation of her people. In some lands, such as Keledon, she is a nearly mythical, but foreign figure, and loved. In some lands following the High Path, such as Matlisan and Shimarain, she is considered a witch and incredibly dangerous.