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"None may binder Eostra."
Eostra the Eagle Owl Mage, also known as The Masked One and The Stone-Faced One, was an outcast Mage and one of the last surviving Soul Eaters. Formerly the Eagle Owl Clan Mage, Eostra showed an obsession with the deceased, and practised a forbidden rite on the day of her becoming a Mage. At some point after this, Eostra deserted her Clan and joined, or possibly formed, the group known as the Healers, later known as the Soul Eaters.
Eventually, Eostra would gain the thrall of the Forest, bending it to her will, and sending minions out to do her bidding. However, during the main part of her plans to steal the power of the Spirit Walker, Torak, she was defeated, her power destroyed. Eostra remains today, the biggest danger that had ever crossed the Forest, even worse than the demon bear or the sickness.
Early Life Edit
Little is known about Eostra's early life, or how she grew up. Nevertheless, it has been determined that Eostra was raised within the Eagle Owl Clan, and eventually became it's Mage. However, on becoming a Mage, Eostra went and performed a forbidden rite, raising a dead boy with her powers and exercising her obsession with the dead. Whether it was because of this, or other unspeakable deeds, Eostra became an outcast to her Clan.
After leaving the Eagle Owl Clan, Eostra went on to join or possibly form the group known as the Healers; consisting of Mages wishing to use their powers to 'help' the Forest. However, soon Eostra and her comrades destroyed the guise of aiding the Forest, and rechristened their group the Soul Eaters. At this, the Soul Eater Narrander became awry of his group, and attempted to leave, but was unable to. In order to force Narrander to obey, Eostra took Narrander's son Narik, subduing Narrander's rebellious thoughts. At the same time, the Wolf Clan Mage - Torak's Fa - decided to attempt to leave as well.
On Souls' Night, Eostra and her fellow Soul Eaters were summoned by Torak's Fa, to meet on what would become Burnt Hill. There, he summoned what was known as The Great Fire, and in the process, purposefully destroyed the Fire Opal - the Soul Eaters' way of controlling demons, and having absolute power. All survived, except for Narrander's son Narik, causing Narrander to go mad. While some of the Soul Eaters sustained injuries - Tenris being badly burned, Narrander losing an eye - it is unknown if Eostra herself gained an injury, although it is possible.
With the Fire Opal in three pieces, Eostra intended to claim them all, to be the ruler of the Forest, along with her remaining Soul Eaters - Narrander was believed to have died during the Great Fire - and get revenge upon Torak's Fa, who had scattered the Fire Opal, and ruined them. Eostra and her fellows set to work, to sew revenge.
The Spirit Walker Edit
Eostra and her comrades planned for the death of Torak's Fa, and it is possible that Eostra herself commisioned Tenris to do the deed, being Torak's Fa's brother. When Tenris created the demon bear, Torak's Fa was eventually killed near the Redwalker, fulfilling the Soul Eaters' vow for vengeance, and reinstating their lust for power. However, when the demon bear was killed at the top of the Mountain of the World Spirit, thanks to the Wolf Mage's son, Eostra, Tenris and the others reeled in anger at the one whom had caused the destruction of their powerful demon-possessed minion.
Again, it is possible that Eostra ordered for Tenris to create the second Sickness, in order to draw the destroyer of the demon bear to him, and discover the identity of their latest, minor, threat. The plan succeeded, and soon Tenris discovered the culprit to be the son of his deceased brother. However, just as things were looking up for the Soul Eaters, Tenris was slain, Torak a major factor in the latter's death, leaving four Soul Eaters remaining. Nevertheless, the group did discover Torak to be the new Spirit Walker, and now intended to seize his power as well as retrieve the Fire Opal fragments.
Following the death of Tenris, Eostra instructed her three remaining Soul Eaters - Nef, Seshru and Thiazzi - to find and seize certain animals for a rite she was intending to perform. One of the animals was Wolf, Torak's pack-brother, inspiring Torak to trek after him and his kidnappers. During his captivity, Wolf was teased by Thiazzi and his fellows, and even saw the arrival of the Eagle Owl Mage, checking on their progress.
The animals were brought to a cavern in the arctic, where Eostra and the other Soul Eaters prepared for the rite. It also turned out that Eostra had discovered a fragment of the Fire Opal, and had imbued it within her mace. Torak eventually discovered them, and went under the guise of an apprentice Soul Eater, to the oblivious Nef, Thiazzi and Seshru (though it is possible Eostra was aware of Torak's true identity). Torak accidentally Spirit-Walked into a captive polar bear, but was luckily able to return to his body.
Eostra began to carry out the rite, with Torak as the intended human sacrifice, but was stopped by Torak, Renn and a rescued Wolf. During the confusion, Eostra lost the Fire Opal, but ordered for her three Soul Eaters to go and retrieve it, at all costs. Torak revealed himself to the three Soul Eaters, as the son of the Wolf Mage, and also as the Spirit Walker. While Thiazzi and Seshru attempted to get the Fire Opal, Nef retrieved it and committed suicide, plunging into an icy casm with her, indebted to the Wolf Mage for her saving her life. With only three Soul Eaters remaining, and one Fire Opal lost, Eostra's plans went down the sink, to her displeasure.
The Outcast Edit
It was, however, in the Soul Eaters' favour, as before the destruction of the Fire Opal, Seshru had placed the Soul Eater tattoo upon Torak's chest, marking him as an unwilling Soul Eater. When this tattoo was discovered by the Boar Clan Leader's son, Aki, Torak was accused of being a Soul Eater and later casted out from the Clans, becoming an Outcast. This advantage would work in Eostra's plans, for he would be weak without support and sustinance.
It can be presumed that Eostra sent Seshru to deal with Torak (assuming that she is the mastermind behind everything). However, Seshru failed and was ultimately killed by her daughter Renn, the fire opal fragment destroyed with her. Torak was regarded as no longer an Outcast, and was accepted back into the Clans, much to Eostra and Thiazzi's great annoyance. With only one opal fragment remaining, Eostra intended for her to retrieve it for herself, but to use Thiazzi to get what she wanted: power.
The Final Piece Edit
Eostra's plan, if the events of Oath Breaker are her doing, was to commision Thiazzi to retrieve the final Fire Opal fragment for her. However, while getting the fragment, Thiazzi murdered Torak's Seal Clan kinsman, Bale, sparking a need for vengeance within the Spirit Walker, who rebelled against the tradition of not saying a dead man's name out loud for five summers, provoking Bale's vengeful spirit to follow him, accusingly.
Thiazzi succeeded in procuring the final fragment, and did not immediately return to Eostra, considering keeping it and ruling the Forest himself, without her interferance. The Oak Clan Mage then went to cause much disruption within two of the clans of the Deep Forest, and taunt Torak with the knowledge of him killing Bale. Eventually, Torak and Thiazzi faced off near the First Yew, ending with Thiazzi's demise. But before his death, Eostra's Eagle Owl appeared and snatched the Fire Opal fragment from the Oak Clan Mage, carrying it off to it's mistress, to the angry Thiazzi.
Now with the Fire Opal in her grasp, Eostra held the entire Forest in her thrall.
Eostra's Thrall Edit
"They hear nothing. They know nothing. Eostra wills it so."
"You're not real."
"What Eostra wills shall be. Eostra commands the unquiet dead. Eostra rules the Mountain and Forest, Ice and Sea."
- Eostra and Renn.
Soon, Eostra's presence became known in the Forest, starting with the sending of the grey moths, which would envoke nightmares on anyone they touched. But nightmares were only the beginning of Eostra's influence over the Forest. She had a bigger target than the average hunters: the Spirit Walker, and specifically, his powers. She knew that Torak would eventually come to face her, to eliminate the last remnant of the Soul Eaters and eradicate their corruption, but she never intended for him to have confidence, to feel anger and grief and resentment and loss.
Sending her eagle owl, Eostra planned to separate Torak from Wolf, his pack-brother, and also make him feel sadness and anguish. The eagle owl went after one of Wolf's cubs, Pebble, and successfully caught him after killing Pebble's sibling Shadow, and almost killing their mother Darkfur - Wolf's mate. Using the cub as bait, the eagle owl led Wolf away from Torak, taunting him with the vulnerable youngster. Eventually, it dropped the cub on unknown territory, where Wolf could not find him, but where Rip and Rek - Torak's raven friends - could, and attempt to lead the cub back. The ploy temporarily succeeded, separating Wolf from Torak, until Torak and Renn found Wolf, anguished and lonely, and attempted to make him feel positive again. They succeeded eventually, and soon Wolf was alongside Torak and Renn as they went forth to confront the Eagle Owl Mage.
When Torak and Renn eventually found safety in the camp run by Krukoslik, Renn was awoken by Eostra herself, who appeared before her, explaining her plot to devour Torak's world-soul and spit out the rest, to spirit walk through the generations, to be feared as the Undying One, and to live forever. However, when Torak awoke, Eostra disappeard, with Renn still distressed and begging Eostra not to do such crimes.
Anxious by Renn's warnings of Torak becoming a Lost One, Torak considered going on without her, for fear of jeopardising her. His fears came true when a dog, a minion of Eostra, assaulted Renn when she left the camp the next day, causing her to injure her ankle, but survive. When Torak left Renn behind because of her injury, Eostra succeeded in separating Renn from Torak, and intended to do the same with Wolf after failing earlier.
A whole pack of crazed dogs attacked Torak and Wolf, both of them trying to hold them off. However, Torak found he could not fight them all, and so the two backed away into a safe crevice, where they could fight safely. But, to Torak's disagreement, Wolf decided to sacrifice himself to save Torak, and led the dogs away. Eostra had succeeded in separating Torak from Wolf; she was gaining the upper hand.
As Torak began to climb, in case the dogs returned, Eostra appeared to him, non-moving, non-speaking, but silently signalling for her eagle owl to swoop in and attack, which it did, knocking Torak off balance and rendering him unconscious. However, he was rescued by the boy known as Dark, and later released to fight Eostra in her lair within the Mountain of Ghosts.
The Final Confrontation Edit
"Eostra summons the Spirit Walker. Eostra binds him to her!"
- Eostra in the Mountain of Ghosts
Torak eventually found Eostra within the dark lair, led by a tokoroth, performing the rite to summon the Unquiet Dead, which turned out to be all the deceased Soul Eaters. As she resurrected Tenris, Thiazzi, Nef, Seshru and Narrander, the hermit known as The Walker stepped in - Narrander. Narrander stated her spell to be flawed, containing the hair of a living man, which gave Renn, who had appeared in time to see him, an idea of how to stop Eostra: cutting the chord of hair around the mace. Eostra accused Narrander of having died in the Great Fire, to Narrander's exclamation of another one dying that should have lived (Narik), for her part in the latter's demise.
Narrander failed in reaching her, however, and toppled, while Renn and Dark battled the pack of dogs, and Eostra's owl seized some of Torak's hair, flying over to it's mistress. The dogs and the owl were felled, but Eostra was still able to grab the hair in triumph, screaming that the Spirit Walker would be bound to her. Her success was short lived however, as Torak seized the courage to smash the Fire Opal within the fire before her. Eostra screamed as she retrieved the fragments of the broken piece, and as the Unquiet Dead vanished from the burning hair.
It was then that Narrander stood, and summoned the Hidden Ones to destroy Eostra. A gaping casm appeared, and Eostra, losing her balance, toppled into the earthly abyss with 'an unearthly shriek'. However, her three-prongred spear got the hem of Torak's robe, pulling him down with her. Eostra and Torak both fell to their deaths, but Torak was brought back to his body by Wolf. The threat to the Forest was gone, and the last of the Soul Eaters eradicated.
Eostra was described as having ashen hair hanging in lank coils, as well as having the spiked ears of an eagle owl. Her face was covered in a stone mask, her eyes holes, and it's mouth open. It is possible Eostra had to wear this mask after the Great Fire, possibly from an injury to her face. But it is also possible she wore it to make her look more marauding. Her hands had flesh like the grainy density of granite, while her talons were tinged blue; like a corpse.
She also wore feathery robes, and wielded a three-pronged spear in one hand, a mace in the other, which had the fire opal imbued within it, and the chords of hair wreathed around it.
Skills and Abilities Edit
- Necromancy - From what we can gleam from the books, Eostra had certain power over the dead; resurrecting a dead boy during her forbidden rite, summoning the Unquiet Dead in the Mountain of Ghosts. She may have done more, but nothing more has been revealed.
- Demon Control - With the Fire Opal, Eostra had strong influence over demons, such as tokoroths, even creating two within the Mountain of Ghosts to help her summon the Unquiet Deed. She was also able to possess an eagle owl, and imbue hatred into a pack of dogs, but according to Renn, they were not demon-possessed. Still, they may be due to demonic magic.
- Shapeshift/Teleportation? - Eostra was known to appear from apparently thin air mysteriously. This could be because of an ability to shapeshift into an eagle owl, or teleportation.
The Soul Eaters Edit
It was known to Torak, Renn and others that the Soul Eaters all feared Eostra above all else, whether from her appearance, power or lack of emotion. This helped give Torak a feeling of dread and anticipation before fighting Eostra, considering that if even the Soul Eaters feared her, what good would he be able to do?
A possibility is that Eostra did not just join the Soul Eaters, but that she formed them; the fear envoked within her fellows could be the signs of servants following a mistress. She also seems to have alot of command over the Soul Eaters, and her actions to prevent disobedience - like kidnapping Narik - also point to her being the leader of the group.
She was the most powerful, the most dreadful, the most power-greedy Soul Eater, and also the hardest to face.