Thalia was a cathar from Innistrad who served as a protector of the Helvault at the time of Avacyn’s disappearance from the plane. Thalia would lead the defenders of Thraben in their defense of the city and was indirectly responsible for the freeing of Avacyn from the Helvault.
Thalia was one of Gavony's most promising cathars. As a young inquisitor, soldier, and vampire slayer, she proved her worth soon after graduating from the academy at the Elgaud Grounds. She was an excellent swordsperson, besting old vampires of several bloodlines and earning a reputation for cunning on the battlefield, all within months of becoming a cathar. But it was her obstinately caring soul that distinguished her and earned her a place among Thraben's elite ranks.
When she was only a second-year cathar, she attracted the attention of a man called Lothar, the so-called Guardian of Thraben, a revered soldier who led a force of elite protectors in service of the Lunarch. Lothar witnessed Thalia charging into an entire howlpack of Krallenhorde werewolves to rescue a single old man, and was impressed with her selfless valor. The young cathar slashed and fought and risked everything for a single innocent soul, and Lothar made her part of his elite guardians that very day. Soon, she rose to become Lothar's second in command, entrusted to help him defend the High City of Thraben.
Protecting the HelvaultEdit
As Lothar's trusted right hand, Thalia learned of the Helvault, the great silver obelisk in the Cathedral courtyard. She learned that the Helvault was a protected holy relic of the Avacynian Church, but she was not told the secret: that the missing archangel Avacyn had become imprisoned within it.
Lothar taught Thalia of this duty in turn. She never understood what lay within - she only knew that the Helvault must be protected from the claws of evil at all costs. Thalia took the same oath that Lothar swore: that under pain of death, she would never allow the Helvault to come to harm.
Siege of ThrabenEdit
Geralf and Gisa, that sibling team of zombie masters, unleashed their life's greatest achievement: a vast horde of necromantic ghouls and necro-alchemical skaabs. They besieged the city of Thraben with their ghoulish army, each hoping to outdo the other in their mad sibling rivalry, sending waves of unhallowed creatures at the holy city. Scores of civilians and cathars fell in Thraben's defense.
Ultimately, Thalia hatched a plan, gathering the straw from thatched roofs around Thraben to create a trap for the undead hordes. She outwitted the ghouls and skaabs, burning them to ash in a great circle of fire before they could penetrate Thraben Cathedral's inner sanctum.
But she wasn't able to save the life of her beloved superior. Tormented by strange, evil voices during the battle, Lothar plunged off one of Thraben's high walls to his death.
Guardian of ThrabenEdit
The Lunarch Mikaeus would have been the one to promote Thalia, to bestow her with the title of Guardian of Thraben. But the Lunarch, too, was killed in Gisa and Geralf's assault. The death of the Lunarch would have been grim news to the four provinces, and yet another blow to the perception of the Church's efficacy. So Mikaeus was entombed in secret, whisked away to the clandestine catacombs beneath the cathedral.
Thalia took charge of the elite guardians of Thraben, becoming the Guardian of Thraben in her predecessor's stead. She became the one human being who bore the duty of keeping the Helvault safe - and, unbeknownst to her, of keeping Avacyn sealed within the Helvault. She might even have been able to crack the Helvault herself, if she had the knowledge and inclination to do so. She might even have been the one with enough courage to face the demonic creatures it might unleash. But she had made a promise to her old friend Lothar - and to the Lunarch. She kept the Helvault, and her promise, intact.
Battle at the HelvaultEdit
After ruthlessly pursuing lead about Griselbrand’s whereabouts on Innistrad Liliana Vess learned from the undead Mikaeus that the demon had been imprisoned within the Helvault. With her target in sight she amplified her power using the Chain Veil and carved a path of devastation through the defenders of Thraben until she came upon the Helvault. Liliana summoned a small army of ghouls to protect her and began her work on the Helvault.
Almost on cue Thalia came charging in with her cadre of elite cathars to protect the Helvault and destroy the ghouls. The ghouls and cathars clash, swords slicing through the dead and claws rending the living, but this is what Liliana wanted.
With a wave of dark magic, she paralyzes the cathars, holding them in a spell of pain. The ghouls continue their assault on them, horribly gnawing the flesh from their bones as they're powerless to resist. Then Liliana gives her ultimatum: a spell that forces a dire choice on the young guardian.
"Either this shiny rock will be annihilated," she says, "or your compatriots. The choice is yours."
Thalia can feel the power of the coercive spell that is now upon her. She has vowed that no harm would befall the Helvault on her watch - it was her promise as Guardian of Thraben, fulfilling the legacy of her predecessor. She knows it is her sole mission, the only job she is responsible for. But she knows this witch will not stop with just her cathars. Thalia hesitates, muttering curses at the death mage under her breath, weighing her vow against the lives of the soldiers under her command and all the other people of Innistrad who might stand in Liliana's way.
For their part, her cathars struggle to stay silent, muffling their pain as Liliana's ghouls tear them apart. But finally, it takes only the strangled cry from one of her cathars for Thalia to make her choice.
Whatever purpose the Helvault serves, it has not saved humanity. The walls of Thraben have been besieged by the undead. Vampire families roam openly in the villages and werewolf howlpacks ravage the lands between. The Helvault might be a holy relic, but Thalia's promise is worth nothing if it commits her to supporting pain and death. Crestfallen, Thalia points to the silver obelisk. Liliana nods, her spell complete.
For a moment, all sound ceases.
Cracks appear in the Helvault, rays of light piercing through the night from within. Then a blast obliterates the ghouls, knocks the cathars to the ground, and throws back Liliana and Thalia. A helix of golden light streaks skyward from the remains of the Helvault, illuminating the sky with its glow. The moon-silver monolith has been sundered, and ribbons of dark Aether flow away in all directions; a host of demonic entities are now free of their prison, and they slink off into the shadows. All eyes are on the luminous being who has appeared before the humans.
It is Avacyn, the Angel of Hope: pure, whole, and eternal.
Within hours, a surge was felt by all on Innistrad as Avacyn's presence revitalized wards and blessings across the four provinces and beyond. The flights of angels returned, their despair dispelled by her presence. The divine archmages' power was restored. Gryffs returned to the skies and the renewed cathar army began to drive back the vampire and zombie hordes, banishing them from the human villages back into the gloom of Innistrad.
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