Panïvar, the Broken Promise

Read by the ever-fantastic David Ault

Ah-Shay, lend me your ears. The time has come to speak of Panïvar.

In the night, when cold and hunger keep you awake, you might see signs of her in the distance. A faint, red glow, like a dying star, or maybe a short blast of power as she collects her next treasure. Few have met Panïvar in person, and those who claim to usually speak with reverence.

Passing travelers say she has been wandering the desert for times untold. Her current incarnation was already powerful and emboldened when humans first beheld Aa striding through the canyons.

In this world, words are substantial and we wield them with caution. Words - spoken aloud - become intention, and intention is power.

When we make a promise or swear an oath, we bind it to our will. In that moment, infinite possible outcomes collapse into but two: a promise kept, or a promise broken.

A promise bound can manifest as a tangible act, whether intended or not. I have heard of buildings growing out of the sand like cedars, or unrecognizable vistas appearing overnight. Some fools have dropped where they stood after making a promise they could never keep. And among our kin are those who bear oath-marks on their skin. These appeared as they bound their promises, lest they forget what they owe this world.

So beware a promise broken. The power of intention, suddenly released from its tethers, explodes into our world. It can spread itself thin over the vast expanses of our lands, becoming inert and forgotten. Or she can harness it.

Panïvar is a collector of broken promises, a shepherd of the insincere. One by one, she calls the broken home. They are her might, her curated hoard, stored in the glowing red crystals we sometimes see from afar. She nurtures them and guards them jealously. Her true strength is unknown, but I know tales of other, thieving Sundered who met their next incarnation by crossing her.

Her strength has not gone unnoticed by our own kind. There are tribes that worship her by singing wordless prayers. Others even invoke her name when making a promise, much good may it do them.

So heed the wisdom of our ancestors, may Rajdah never speak their names: keep your promises, and keep them small. For shepherds can become hunters, and Panïvar is drawn to power.

— Anders, Bard of the Ah-Shay

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