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Kayla bin-Kroog of Yotia
The name of Kayla bin-Kroog has been passed down through the ages. The author of the widely read poem The Antiquity Wars, Kayla was privy to a first-hand account of nearly every momentous event in the Brothers’ War.
Kayla’s importance in the Brothers’ War begins in an almost ludicrous manner. Kayla, princess of the powerful nation of Yotia, began her day one morning attempting to find a clock maker to repair a family heirloom. Kayla visited the merchants of the Yotian capital of Kroog, blissfully unaware of the ramifications of such an innocent wish. Ultimately, the man responsible for repairing Kayla’s music box would be the same man responsible for countless ills across all of Dominaria. That man was Urza.
Kayla felt an almost instinctual attraction to the Argivian native, but knew that such ideas were best placed aside. Kayla’s father, the warlord of Kroog and ruler of all of Yotia, had promised Kayla’s hand in marriage to a prince from a distant land. However, before the two were wed, the prince died in a horrible shipwreck. Kayla, not the least bit distraught over the news, was perfectly content to bide her time. Kayla’s father, however, was not. The warlord began a series of strength trials, promising Kayla’s hand in marriage in any man who could complete these tasks. Hoping to gain a grandchild with the strength of a warrior and the grace of his own daughter, the warlord was blindly unaware of the impossibility on these tasks.
One of these exercises, however, was indeed completed. A young Argivian, asking the warlord’s permission to move an immense jade statue using only the power of his mind, succeeded in the warlord’s trial. Although furious over the audacity of such a feat, the warlord’s ire was stayed after speaking with Rusko, a master clock-maker. Rusko provided plans for a flying machine the Argivians were already pressing into service, promising that if Urza was allowed to wed Kayla, such machines could be utilized in Yotia’s favor as well. The warlord almost immediately agreed, and Urza and Kayla were married.
Life with Urza was anything but the picture perfect romance Kayla had once hoped for. Urza was negligent to a fault, always preferring the solidarity of his machines to his own wife. The warlord was only too happy for Urza to begin working on whatever new miraculous creation the Argivian could dream of. Kayla began looking to others, entertaining the idea of a wild affair. One object these desires was Tawnos, Urza’s chief apprentice, whose genius was apparently only second to Urza’s. However, Tawnos was loyal to Urza completely, and put aside each of Kayla’s attempts at romance.
Kayla’s problems with put on hold as tensions mounted in the Fallaji lands. The Yotians, along with the Argivians and Korlisians, were subject to a host of Fallaji raids upon archaeological digs hoping to excavate Thran artifacts. The warlord, allowing his battle-hardened temper to get the best of him, proposed a negotiation in the nation of Korlis between all four sides in the conflict. The warlord and Urza set out at once for the kingdom of Korlis, hoping to put aside this inconvenience at continue working for the betterment of Yotia. Sadly, they hoped in vain. When Urza eventually returned to Kroog, he returned with grave news. In a mad bid for power, the warlord had assaulted the qadir of the Fallaji’s forces using Urza’s ornithopers. The qadir retailed using a destructive machine in the form of a dragon. It appeared as though Urza’s brother Mishra, long believed dead, was alive and working in the service of the Fallaji. Although the Argivian forces escaped mostly unharmed, the warlord was not so lucky.
Mourning her father’s death, Kayla became even more withdrawn from her husband. On some level Kayla blamed Urza for his part in her father’s death. Confused by her emotions, Kayla spoke with Tawnos at length, desperately looking for someone to love. Tawnos, still loyal to Urza, convinced Kayla that the master artificer was just as saddened by the turn his marriage had taken as Kayla was. After many long talks, Kayla and Urza came to terms with the warlord’s death and even began to enjoy a somewhat happy marriage. This too would not last.
Placed in command of an entire nation, Kayla felt certain that if only the brothers could get together and speak of the Fallaji’s attacks, some good would come of this horrible ordeal. The Fallaji again met with the Yotians, this time at the capital of Kroog. Urza and Mishra both expressed great sadness at the tragedies that had occurred at Korlis and vowed to discuss the Fallaji’s demands under civil terms. Indeed, Urza and Mishra almost seemed to be able to pull the two opposing nations together through their love of artifice and remembrances of their childhood. Kayla began to feel an attraction to the Mishra, who, unlike his brother, was eloquently spoken and very charming. All was going extremely well, at least until Mishra stated the Fallaji’s demands. The Fallaji demanded to be returned control of the Sword Marches, ancient Fallaji lands that had been conquered by the Yotians nearly a hundred years ago. Kayla was adamant in keeping these lands, which she considered her father’s legacy. However, one seemingly trivial demand was also made, one that would do more to further divide the brothers than even the Sword Marches. Mishra wanted Urza’s stone.
Urza’s mysterious stone was possessed of some arcane power Kayla had never before seen. When Urza used it, his mind seemed to clear of almost every obstacle and he was greatly able to work on his devices. Indeed, the mysterious glowing stone even seemed to aid Urza’s machines in whatever their assigned task. Urza would hear no debate on the matter. The stone was his, and his brother was never meant to possess it. Kayla felt her husband was being his usual stubborn self, and felt that if such a small price would lessen the tension between the Yotians and the Fallaji it would greatly outweigh Urza’s jealous needs.
During the night, Kayla stole Urza’s mightstone, meeting with Mishra to discuss the future of an alliance between the two nations. It is unsure exactly what happened this night, but it is not at all unfeasible that it was this night that Kayla’s future son was conceived, by Mishra instead of Urza. Urza and Tawnos discovered this plot and the two brothers began an open fight. Urza managed to reclaim his mightstone, driving his brother and his forces from Kroog.
Kayla retreated away from all affairs of state, spending more and more time in seclusion away from the hate-filled eyes of her husband. Urza traveled across the Fallaji lands via ornithoper, desperate seeking for any sign of his brother. It was in this way that the kingdom of Yotia was left completely open to Mishra’s retaliatory strike. Within mere days, Kroog was sacked. Tawnos and Kayla, pregnant with child, managed to escape the atrocity, but Yotia was not so lucky. Hardly a week later, all that her father had built had been conquered. Mishra was in control of Yotia.
For years, Kayla and Tawnos wandered the wastelands of their kingdom, always wary of Mishra’s forces. Kayla gave birth to a son, Harbin. Through their long travels, Tawnos never failed to gain any information he could on the whereabouts of Urza, knowing that no force on earth could kill him before his reckoning with his brother. At last, Tawnos received word that Urza was in the employ of the nation of Argive, producing his artifacts in the defense of his native country. Tawnos, Kayla, and Harbin journeyed to greet Urza in his newly built tower. Although Urza was very apprehensive of his old friends, particular his supposed son, he did eventually welcome them into their home. The family was united. But the Brothers’ War had begun in earnest.
Mishra’s forces repeatedly attacked the borders of Argive, but were consistently driven back by Urza’s own mechanized assault force. Kayla learned that the qadir of the Fallaji had died in the assault on Kroog and Mishra now ruled the nation. Urza was granted an almost commanding role in the affairs of Argive and began the long trek of regaining the remnants of Yotia. Argive had become so powerful under Urza’s rulership that the kingdom absorbed both Yotia and Korlis. With two such equally matched nations led by two of the most gifted and spiteful minds Dominaria had ever produced, the Brothers’ War would undoubtedly end in waves of bloodshed.
Despite Kayla’s marriage to the Lord Protector and Master Artificer of Argive, she had absolutely no influence over the political affairs of the nation. Kayla contented herself on raising her son, eventually arranging a marriage for him with the daughter of a wealthy noble family. Kayla’s heart was nearly broken when Harbin made his plea to become an ornithoper pilot. At Tawnos’s advice, Kayla and Urza agreed, but only on the grounds that Harbin would be assigned only routine scouting missions.
It was on one of these missions that Harbin disappeared. Kayla and her daughter-in-law feared the worst, but Harbin eventually returned safe and whole. Harbin bore with him news of an undiscovered continent rich in natural resources that could turn the tide of the war in Urza’s favor once and for all. Harbin set out to begin preparations for Urza’s arrival, but Kayla soon heard disturbing news. Apparently Mishra had taken a notice in this new land as well and Urza was rushing to greet him. Kayla knew that neither brother would return from this battle. She could not understand a fraction of Argoth’s importance in the millennia to come.
Months after Urza had left, the world came to an end. Dominaria’s tears filled the skies as fiery comets from the heavens. Entire nations were leveled. The climate was changed for the worse. Argoth, an entire continent, sank beneath the seas. Urza, Mishra, Harbin, and Tawnos were gone forever.
Kayla was unusually content in this harsh new world and began caring for Harbin’s son Jarsyl as though he were her own. Several years later, a most unusual sight greeted Kayla: Tawnos, completely unharmed from the events of Argoth, arriving at her doorstep. Tawnos told Kayla of how the dreaded battle ended, with Urza using a strange and arcane new weapon to destroy his brother once and for all at the cost of his own life. Tawnos swore that the last words on Urza’s dying lips were her name, but Kayla knew better than to hope for such things.
Kayla began setting about to chronicle her life in The Antiquity Wars, a sort of warning for future nations not to make the same mistakes as the nations of Terisiare. Kayla died peacefully years later in the comfort of her friends and family.