Sunday, May 31, 2015

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Navel Battles of the Tormented
Captain Scathe and the Tormented Fleet are the scourge of the Dreaming Seas. Their exploits are infamous; the mere sighting of the Nightmare Eye is cause enough for most captains to dump their cargo and make full speed in the opposite direction. Of course, not many can outrun the nightmare pirates, who bend the very winds to their commands.

The nightmares of mariners are not limited to shambling, seaweed corpses or vicious, bloodthirsty pirates. The most powerful sailors on the deck of the Nightmare Eye are the basic maladies and curses that plague seafarers, but brought to horrid sentient life: Oxeye, the living squall; Vang the Snake, rope on which you lose your grip at an inopportune time; Scow the Hullbreaker; Draugr, the beat below who drags air-breathers to their final doom.

For Captain Scathe cares not one whit for treasure. He seeks to terrify the sailors of the seas, to make them abandon their gods, renounce their allegiances, and pray to him for salvation before he sinks their ship and sends them to become on with the Plane of Water.

The trade city of Thet spends a considerable amount of its profit safeguarding its fleets from the ravages of Scathe and his band of nightmares. Not in bribes, but in sacrifices. Whole fleets are sent to die so that others may live. Sailors are lost to suffering, torture, and the devilish predilections of nightmares, merely so others can profit off the portals between the seas. Where does the real evil lie?
Scathe is said to recount his query when he shows any new nightmarish recruit his collection of heads

Canus, The Industrious, God of Naps
Shhh, sleep now, dear dreamer.
Rest your eyes.
Rest your legs.
Rest your aching muscles.
Let go your cares.

Did you fill out all that paperwork for the bank? It was due tomorrow. You’ll need to double check it all, make sure you didn’t forget anything.

Sleep in blissful rest.
Your weariness leaves you.
Your aches and pains dissipate.

You should do a puppet show like the ones in Draumheim, but make it about the history of Freemarch; you could show off Eliam’s heroics, and give him some real gravitas. You should write the script now, while you’re inspired.

Quiet and still.
Hush your thoughts and count your breaths.
Enter the meditative state.
Silence your mind and feel the comfort of your body.

What was that against your leg? Was that the sheet of a bug? Is there a spider in the bed? You need to straighten the sheets. And if there was a spider in bed, you should just clean the whole room!

Let your cares and desires sail into the boundless sea of sleep.
Let your mind float free upon the ocean.
Drift in the dreaming.
Sink deep into the sea.
Drink your fill of relaxation.

Now you really have to go; you can’t ignore it anymore. Just get up, go, and start again. Oh, distractible Canus, let us try this again in an hour with better results.

Ghadaul – Skelf God of War
Ghadaul, khopesh of the seas, vanquisher of Akvan, grant me the frenzy. Let me smell the red scent in the tide and let it wash over my being. Let the battle be terrible and glorious, brief and bloody. If my enemies flee, may it be towards shore. If my enemies turn and fight, may they overlook my pod, may we feat upon them from all sides.

Glory to you, Ghadaul, breaker of the pact, carver of bone; grant the red vision when my enemy is upon me, but keep it from me in school. The frenzy is holy, the frenzy is profane, the frenzy is my greatest weapon and my greatest curse. Give me the strength to end the glory, give me the will to regain myself.

Holy Ghadaul, lord of blood, thresher of the night, grant me the tides of Draum, show me the dream of victory. I pilot no leviathan, I pact to no horror. I fight for the coming of the Rhenke. The time when the skelf will throw down the Akvan and ride the waves of victory. I bow to none but the Rhen, I worship none but the gods of the sea and stars.
Grand me victory. Grant me the red frenzy.

Gholing – Avatar Slayer
In the beginning, the skelf were dreamed forth into the Kamoho Ocean to serve Namadraum, an avatar of a great predator fish. The skelf served Namadraum faithfully and learned from her the secrets of magic, war, and the pathways through the infinite oceans. For the Epoch of Kamoho, the skelf steered her throughout the seas, helped her hunt the leviathans of the oceans, and tended to her every need.

Then, the last of the original clutch hatched: a skelf named Gholing. Gholing was not compelled to pact bind to Namadraum, nor any other creature. Gholing was a mighty warrior, as skelf are, and with each year of life he grew larger and more powerful. Gholing left the skelf and Namadraum and swam against the currents. He cut a bloody swath through the oceans, murdering monarch and monster alike. Over time, he grew so strong, that he underwent a Great Change, usually reserved only for the Rhens.

On day, Gholing met Namadraum and her Rhenke once again. The oceans darkened with portent, and a lunar eclipse occurred. When this shadow passed over Draum, the Moon, he stirred in his sleep. Such was the end of the Epoch of Kamoho.

Gholing attacked Namadraum, drawing blood. The skelf that served the immortal avatar frenzied to save her, but the violence made them mindless. Gholing, however, kept her frenzy in check. She used the red madness of her lesser siblings against them. Through skill and cunning, she wounded some and threw others into the maws of their own brothers, working her way towards the leviathan avatar.

When the skelf regained their senses, they saw that their god and creator, Namadraum, lay slain. Her still-beating heart had been eaten by one of their own. For the first time in their existence, the skelf felt horror over a kill. Gholing was torn apart by her own siblings, who then took their own lives.

Ever since, the last skelf of a clutch has been slain by its cluchmates. For it is prophesied that another skelf, last of its clutch, will again slay an avatar of Draum and found a Rhenke of her own. This new Rhen will reign for a thousand years, and the endless seas will be changed forever.

Pelagic Order
“To see an entire ocean destroyed is a terrible thing. The waters of life became corrupt, and the nereid race was snuffed out of existence in second, turning the seas red with blood. The entire layer twisted upon itself, fracturing and damaging the Plane of Water. However, it also gave my life purpose.” – Quintarus the Masked

The Pelagic Order is a monastic crusade that operates within the plane of water to keep the various layers of oceans separate and flowing. They ensure that Draum’s dreams remain stable and that oceans to not corrupt each other. They seek out words of creation left behind by the gods. With this power, they heal the damage inflicted on the Plane of Water and keep its seas flowing freely and without corruption.

The First Pelagic Crusade began after the mad dragon, Akylios, created a breech in the Glundro Ocean. He took his demonic forces to the mortal realm and began consuming the sanity of countless worlds. The rifts his journeys created caused the Sea of Chaos to become corrupt, to blend and bleed into other seas, such as the infinite seas of the Plane of water. This stress angered Draum, and his sleep became fitful. As he stirred, an entire layer within the Plane of Water broke down and was utterly destroyed.

The Onir dreamfolk, who had no means to leave their plane of existence and thus escape its destruction, launched the Pelagic Crusade. They used their proximity to Tarken, and other locations imbued with power, to search for words of creation. The gods had once used these arcane words to create the mortal realm and imprison the vile Akvan. Using this divine language, the Onir crusaders healed the oceans wherever they could and sealed off the corruptive influences wherever they could not. The First Pelagic Crusade may very well have saved the entire Cosmos from the wound that mad Akylios inflicted.

After the first Pelagic Crusade, the sanctity of the plane’s layers remained intact, and Draum slept soundly. However, the Onir now had many words of creation under their control. The Pelagic Order’s inner sanctum, led by Caeceius Esdra, became tempted to use this power to shape the planes to their whims. They used the divine words to drain power from other seas and planed, abandoning their lofty goals of healing their own seas. When Quintarus discovered what his mentor had wrought, he rallied the crusading armies against the Pelagium Citadel.

The siege was long and brutal, but the crusaders prevailed. Once they breeched the walls, however, the Citadel exploded in a magical catastrophe. It was utterly destroyed, and no sign of Caeceius were ever found. However, this second crusade was costly. The Pelagic Order had very few crusaders remaining and grey wary about trusting outsiders. Many survivors slipped away to various temples throughout the Dreaming Seas, where they continue their task of healing the breeches between layers and planes.

Phydrena Goddess of Passion

In the glassy seas of Calceron, the night of its creation, upon a rock between surf and sky, the goddess Phydrena waited for Draum to rise. As she idly swirled in cool waters, warm, tropical currents flowed from her fingers and caressed the sea. Where she splashed, a gentle swell formed, and where she dove in, reefs formed and exploded with color.

Phydrena surfaced and gazed up at the moon, which had taken the form of an immense shell. The goddess smiled and basked in its glow. “I have been swimming in your dreams, eternal one; I have seen your innermost thoughts. Your passions and desires were laid bare to me. Your vision of the seas and oceans have enchanted me.” She dove deep into the water and swam through its moonlit beauty.

Surfacing again, she floated on her back, so the moon could contemplate her beauty. “I love you, Draum. Come to me.”

There was a splash in distance waves, and a giant koi swam up, as big as the goddess herself. It glowed with an inner light. Together they swam through the waters; together they founded the race of Atragaria.
Akvans Translations
A Linguistic Analysis of Akvan Runes
Ekhardt Mann

Akvan English
AKVAN The first/truth
CRESHE Present (time/plane/location)
OCULON Godsoul singularity
SEFRE Planar Layer
RACKVANA Collapse/Implode
ANEW Ocean/Dreams
MARTRODRAUM Avatar/Akvan God
AFGEE Understanding/learn
PANAR trapped imprisoned
TAKRONO Divine Power
DEGNA cosmos
RICKENSHA Mathematically Sacred/eleven
DROSH Dimension
AKNIL Rule/conquest
REDONNOT Mortal/Damaged
PLOCUSH diseased
WRE Repair/fix/change
RACKTOONIC Destructive/Destroy/End
AGREENA Left/scattered/Release
CRADIFORN Blood Sacrifice
SIMPO Ultrafinitism/Small
ARGIVENE Parasite/harrier
LOSH Arise/create
FULVATO Awake/Awaken
AKFON Weapon
EOCON Absent
EGARNO Fuel Devour Eat
REVURAH Darkness
DRAKSHAN Eternity/Infinity
OCATA Singularity
FERATA Infinity
SETRONO Curse/Profane
YAGTRO Ascension
RARO Ancient
ROTA Temple
TOCHRO Creation
LOSHRO Survive
WECTRON Fissure/Rift
TEHROCT Menhir/altar
DRAKACT Sleep/heal
FADRALKNA Deliberate/Careful
DESHTONO Construct/Golem
TRAVRAKA Expect/Want
OKGRATA Obedience
PAAFGEE Ignorance
PAKTRO Heat/Flame
EOCON Void/empty
ROK Death
GAFKRO Hopeless/fruitless
SOKGROTTIC Discover/Learn
POKRATA Remember
TEKROK Cold Death/Blizzard
IZKINRA Dark Star Father
DRAKO Descend
DRAKTRISH Rain / Falling Debris
The Science of Predeterminism
The Science of Predeterminism

The immortal voice of Fate, Prophet of Aia, and Prime Philosopher of the Evanescent Technocracy, Eckhart Mann commands his followers to live by his mathematical manifesto.

One must only look back through the numerous, tragic, histories of the mortal races across the span of time to see how small their world views were. The majesty of the divine, the glory of creation, was hidden behind archaic books, scrolls and broken tablets. The truth of existence was derailed by attachment to the beauty of poetry that tried to express it. Violence was the result, as centuries later factions fought to the death of disputed interpretation and typos.

What hope had primitive mortals of even expressing the revelation of the will of the goddess with such primitive language? It was barely above the barking and howling of an animal. Could a dog come close to understanding the majesty of eleven dimensional Akvan compressed space? Could a cricket explain the eternal, recursive journey of the Ouroboros mother of dragons? How could a mere mortal comprehend creation in their base, common tongue?

Feel pride then, you are an Ascended devotee of Aia. A herald of the true path, one who has untangle the tapestry of creation. When I developed the calculus of destiny we could not only determine what the almighty goddess has determined for each and every one of us, but we could calculate the transcendent ecstasy you were supposed to feel to a transcendental number.

We do not use this knowledge as another hubris as mortals are wont to do. We will not reap destruction upon creation, but as enlightened beings we will act as proper stewards and repair what was, what will be, and what should have been. The glory of these divine equations are that they will restore the paradise that creation once was, and ensure its eternal existence.

Let us begin our study into this most important branch of divine mathematics. Let us start be taking a look at the equation most dear to you, the one that runebinds your soul into service of Aia…
Child of War The Child of War

Upon the field of battle was brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron once the battle had won his throne.

As the appointed time approached, there did appear upon the hill four riders. The Child did hear a great horn bellow and the armies did surge forth in battle.

The beasts rode off in four directions and each did bring low the enemy, and planting their flag in the red ground.
The Child did not follow but instead stood upon the hill and proclaimed: “Why dost thou not rush the bridge? These base and callous creatures will cost me my victory yet again!”

Then a cry rang out, as if a beast of heaven was calling in the language of men. The best cried out “Come and see!”
The Child did then abandon the bridge like is fellows, and followed the path unto the first rider.
He beheld a white horse, a horn crudely attached. Upon which a rider carried a bow; and a crown was given unto him from his conquests.

As the rider’s side crouched an immense wolf, bearing the name Azazu in flaming letters. The beast’s teeth dripped with blood, and glowed from within, for it had tasted the sun.

“Help me Child! For the enemy approaches upon my seal in force. Surely I will fall to them if I face them alone.”
The Child laughed, “Thou art like a new born babe, who hath entered unto the battle for his first day.”
“You have brought a beast onto this fight, you are unclean! You spread the plague of the demon, whose blood I smell upon you.”

“You will surely fall again the assembled host, and I will laugh at your misfortune.”

The sky blazed red as the second seal was opened. A horn sounded once more, and a rider’s voice rang out, “Come and see!”

And there went out another mount that was red, with the haunches of a lion and the head of a ram. A power was given to her that sat upon this mount to take peace from the world, the rider was dressed like the harlot of Scion, and she wielded a great sword.

“Help me Child! The enemy comes cloaked in the veil of darkness. They scurry like the snake and will surely catch me unaware! Together we may strike them down and the seal will be our glory.”

The Child grew angry. “I have marked that beast upon which you sit, harlot of Scion. You have purchased it with the blood of the righteous and brought ruin to all the land!”

“I will not fight beside you, though your purpose would be the same I mark thee enemy. You are untrained in the art of war, and I will not teach thee!”

The sky blazed once more, and the third seal was opened. A new voice rant out over the battle, it cried out “Come and see!”

The Child approached the seal, and lo he beheld a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in hand.

The Child heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, “Whence comes the dragon? Surely it is in morn to decimate the War. I name him Akylios and weep for his prophet Jounaru.”

The Child sneered at the rider. “Art thou a puppet whose strings are pulled upon the fae stage? Speak plainly in the tongue of men and do no dance for the pleasure of the base few learned scribes.”

The Child left the rider of the black horse behind, he rode out into the wilderness and did cry out unto heaven.

“Gods of the Vigil! Condemn these soldiers who would fight at my side into the flaming pit. They are not deserving of victory!”

“Base and callous creatures! They will cost me my victory yet again! Why do you plague me with their presence? I, who am most deserving?”

The Child did then stomp his feet and attempt to rend the ground with great leaps of anger so as not to be cast out of the battlefield.

Then did the sky turn black as night, and the ground was corrupted by plague. The fourth seal had opened and the Child heart a cry over the battle, “Come and see!”

And the Child looked, and beheld a pale horse: and the name of the blaze above him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the battle, to kill with the sword.

The Child saw under the altar of soul them that were slain, and for the testimony which they held:

The souls cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Child, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell upon this world?”

The Child sneered at their pain. “Art thou angered my brothers? Weep and despair, for thou has lost the battle. You are but unskilled babes, abominations before my holy majesty.”

And the Child saw the dead, small and great, stand before the pale rider, whose name was Death; and the seal remained opened: and the dead fount their resurrection.

And Death reared upon his horse and cried, “Victory is at hand for the faithful! The third part of the sea will run with blood! Mark yourselves m brethren, so that the healer may mend your wounds!”

The Child cried out “Death I am here! I am greatly skilled in slaughter! Why will you not mark me? Why travel with these low born souls?”

Death regarded the wails and cries of the Child. “Oh Child. Thou art the bad see in the host of the faithful. The faults of the army are numerous, but it is but an ember next to the radiance of sin you possess.”

The Child did throw his sword upon the ground and a great cry was uttered unto the heaven.

Death rode out to victory with the army of souls, leaving the Child behind. “We all agree that this apocalypse would be improved if you contracted the plague! Preferably in your tongue!”

And thus did Scion fall.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Sylver Valis

Most people noticed when Anthousa Mona entered a room. Heels clicking, staff tapping on the marble floor, she strode into Sylver’s workshop, but neither the inventor nor his assistant Stavel paid her any mind. Stavel hunkered atop the gleaming machine they were working on, going at the rivets with a planar tuner, while Sylver had slid entirely under the chassis. Anthousa smacked the butt of her staff on the floor.


Stavel, at least, looked up, then jumped down. “High Priestess. How may I serve you?”

“You may not. I must speak to your… to Sylver,” she said as if his name left a nasty taste.

“Of course.” Stavel kicked Sylver’s outstretched leg gently. The inventor started, smacking his head against the underside of the machine with a loud klang.

He slid out and sat up, rubbing his bruised forehead, ignoring Anthousa entirely to talk to Stavel. “I think it’s ready. Proceeding with test run.”

“Wait, Sylver—” Stavel called, but the inventor was already at the controls, fingers pattering on the keys like raindrops in a storm. The machine whirred to life, six planar pressure gauges filling with the color of their element. Stavel had no choice but to run to his station.

Sylver looked over his shoulder. “Yes, priestess?” Then he turned back to Stavel. “All levels stable for elemental bonding. Death levels lagging.”

“Stabilizing,” Stavel said. Then he muttered, “Don’t forget her holiness,” too low for her holiness to hear.

Anthousa rubbed the bridge of her perfect nose. “The general staff is convening shortly. And spirits know why, but that includes you.” She turned on her heel, and was halfway to the door before she realized no one was following. Sure enough, Sylver was still hunched over his meters. "Oh, do come along you spiritless nalthema.”

Stavel’s eyes flicked from Sylver to Anthousa, concerned for the first, blazing at the second. Save for a quick twitch in his brow, Sylver did not react to the slur. “I’m busy,” he finally said through his teeth. “Tell Asha I agree with whatever.” Then he waved the priestess away. “Water reading optimum levels. Fire. Earth.”

The High Priestess of the Kelari pointed her staff at Sylver. That same gesture had doomed riftspawn and Guardians alike. “You ignore the general’s summons for this idiotic contraption? Just yesterday you were moping at her heels like a spurned puppy.”


“This Attunement Chamber will allow the Ascended to bond with energy from the planes. It could win us the war. But it doesn’t work by moaning and waggling your fingers, so you wouldn’t understand.”

“Tell me, Valis,” Anthousa said, “why does your research so often involve bonding to external elements. Is it because you cannot form a bond with the spirits that love our kind?”

Noticing something in the dozens of dials, Sylver began hammering at the controls. “So inventors are motivated by crushing insecurity. But then why doesn’t Orphiel devote his life to finding a cure for collars?”

Stavel suppressed a laugh by coughing and calling out, “Fire feedback spiking. Compensating.”

“Compensate for Earth as well!” said Sylver.

“One single spirit bond,” Anthousa mused, “and you could predict this malfunction. Poor, poor lonely nalthema.”

“And yet this nalthema perfected the Ascension process. Will perfect. In the future. If we fail. Whatever! Not now, Anthousa!”

The machine began to rattle and scream, all the meters flashing their colors angrily.

“Sylver, she’s done for! Abort!” Stavel vaulted over his console, hiding behind a well-scorched blast shield a bare moment before the Attunement Chamber exploded. Shards of jagged metal flew on jets of elemental flame.

“Idiot,” Anthousa said, walking toward the door with a smile on her flawless face. “The Ascended are already one with the elements. They don’t need your machine.”

“Sylver! Gods and spirits,” said Stavel, beating his way through the rainbow smoke, “Gods and spirits, please be alright.”

The haze parted and there against the wall sat Sylver, his jerkin scorched and his hair standing on end. Blue soot covered his face, making him look like a tiny, starved Bahmi. “Already imbued with the elements… already imbued…” he said to himself dreamily.

Stavel threw his arms around the inventor, all but sobbing with relief. “You’re alright! Thank the spirits!”

“Don’t thank them,” Sylver patted his assistant’s back, then pointed to the burnt-out sourcestone disc smoking on his belt. “Thank my personal disruption field. That works, at least. Imbued with the elements… Ascended…”

“Oh, don’t listen to her,” Stavel said as he sat down beside his master, rubbing his shoulder as pneumagic vents sucked the smoke into the ceiling. “What would someone who dresses like that know about anything?”

“The same thing we know!” Sylver flipped his goggles down and the lenses blinked to life, casting multicolored light across the floor as they scanned the wreckage. He grabbed Stavel’s face and laughed his high-pitched mad-scholar’s laugh. “Asha’s meeting can wait. We have work to do!”

Sylver Valis stood at his podium, wearing new robes of purple and green. The sun beat down on Epoch Plaza, gleaming off the chrome of the rebuilt machine that stood on the steps behind him. The inventor’s hair was still a wild mess, and he had forgotten to flip up his goggles, but if anything, that added to the affect. Stavel stood at the controls of the steadily-humming console. Every now and then, he cast Sylver an admiring smile.

“… A wise Kelari reminded me recently that the Ascended are already bonded to the elements,” Sylver said. “With new bodies crafted from sourcestone at this nexus of the planes, Defiant Ascended are literally overflowing with elemental magic. In early… er… prototypes, I had tried to add power needlessly. All one needs do is harmonize existing power with the music of the planes. Defiant, I give you the Attunement Chamber, built to unlock the true potential of the Ascended!”

Standing in ovation with the rest of the crowd, Asha Catari looked askance at her friend Anthousa Mona. “A very wise Kelari, to recognize such hidden potential,” she said.

The Attunement Chamber opened, and out stepped the volunteer. From the audience, the High Priestess clapped as loudly as anyone to see what Sylver had made.

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Faceless Man

If yawning chasms could speak, they would have his voice. Deep and dark and empty, it echoed off the cliffs overlooking Meridian. “I admire your research. Very ambitious for such a young scholar.”

“Thank you, sir,” I stammered, eyes flitting from the jagged, narrow cliff-side path to the giant who led me. The wind yanked hard at the edges of his white cloak, and he took heedless strides while I had to pick my way by inches. It felt like every loose pebble I kicked down the mountain landed in the pit of my stomach.

“You say you discovered the story of my past?” he said, turning back to regard me, that featureless silver mask swallowing his face.

“I think so. Nothing about your days before you... um... whoa!”

Stumbling over my words, I tripped over my feet, and the world pitched upside-down. I plunged off the path. He caught my wrist and swung me in front of him, setting me down on my feet. I threw myself against the cliff wall and breathed in long, keening gasps. His hand was deep-sea cold. “Th-thank you.”

The mask nodded. “Go on.”

“Nothing about your days before joining the Abyssal. Some accounts about what you did in the cult.”

He towered over me. He could even loom over most Bahmi, in his ornate robes and ornate mask, with his simple, deep voice that drilled into your chest. “Some of it was quite terrible.” With one huge hand, he bade me take the lead. I didn’t know where we were going, but there was only one path.

“Some of it, yes. I do know that the cult made you Tidelord of Meridian. But you approached Asha and Orphiel, offering them the stronghold in exchange for amnesty and a position of power within the emerging Defiant.”

I lost track of how far we trekked through the mountains. There were times I had to scramble on hands and knees to climb over rocks, while the Faceless Man simply stepped over them, never breaking stride. At last, he said, “Well found. You’ve earned this initiation.”

“Thank you, sir,” I said, not without pride. Here I was, being led by the spymaster of the Defiant to join their network of infiltrators and agents. Now, at last, I would serve my faction, and learn what lay at the end of this mountain path besides the rasping roar of the ever-closer ocean.

“You must have many questions,” he mused. “How could a sworn Tidelord defy the will of Akylios? And why would Catari and Farwind trust a cultist? By all rights, they should have taken the city and slain me, not put me in a position of such power.”

“If I had to guess,” I said, “you somehow resisted the confirmation ritual and fooled the other Abyssal. And your position comes from having some leverage. The Defiant need you, or you wouldn’t be alive.”

The Faceless Man chuckled behind me. “Spoken like a true spy.”

“Thank you, sir. I know I’ll serve you well.” I turned a corner and found myself at the end of the path, a spike overlooking a thousand-foot drop to waves and rocks and froth. “What sort of leverage is it?”

“What do you think?”

I took a deep breath. “I’ve heard of an Abyssal ritual, known only to Tidelords--a series of sigils surrounding a stronghold to keep enemies from getting in. I’m guessing you altered the sigils to keep the riftspawn at bay, and keep their locations hidden. Am I right?”

The Faceless Man stood behind me, and I heard him cross his arms over his chest. For a spymaster, he carried himself like a Warrior, every gesture swift and cutting. “Asked like a true spy. Of course, you know I won’t tell you, but the effort shows bravado. Also, we’re far past the vulgarity of requiring leverage. I have given the Defiant years of loyal service, so I hold trust on my own merits, though I still keep my secrets.”

“Trust, you will find,” he went on, “is just as important to the Defiant as it is to the Guardians.”

I nodded, looking out at where unsettled sea and stormy sky blended into a long, cobalt cord stretched tight across the horizon. “I will remember that, sir.”

“Remember also not to swear by the Vigil under your breath, even when you think you’re alone. Faith in the gods is a rare thing among the Defiant. More common among foolish Guardian sneaks.”

Before I could stop myself, my fingertips flew to where I normally wore my symbol of Thontic. I wheeled to find his sword point grazing my chest, having slashed through my robe with only the force of my turn. “Please...” I said.

“You must have enemies in Sanctum, to send you so inexperienced on such a dangerous mission. Infiltrate the Unseen?” I wondered if he could smirk beneath that mask. “Unheard-of.”

“Please, I’m not an agent!” I pleaded. “I chose to do this, to serve the Vigil. I didn’t learn anything that wasn’t already in your library. Please, I’m not even Ascended. Just let me go, and I promise, you’ll never see me again.” I took a step back, heel hovering over the drop.

He stared at me a long time, masked head tilted. A drop of blood welled up on my chest, running over the tip of his sword. At last, he nodded and stepped back, blade at his side. “Turn around.”

I did, my heart fluttering against my ribs. I heard him walk away. I would go home to Silverwood. I would disappear. I had friends who could hide me, from both my people and the Defiant. How had he known? For now, at least, I was safe, I


His massive hand wrapped around my head. He had never left.



He squatted like a gargoyle at the end of the long promontory, the wind whipping his cloak back and singing against the silver of his grotesque mask. He watched the boy begin to fall, and then rose and walked back toward Meridian. To his credit, the giant seemed to look back, but without a face, who can say for sure?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[Off Topic] Patch 3.2: Echoes of Madness

     So, it's patch day again! Well actually it was several days ago now, but I've been really busy at work now that it's summer, and enjoying the nice weather that I haven't had much time to myself, let alone to log on and keep this updated! But never fear, I am still here! (Yup, that totally rhymed!) Anywho, looks like there's some neat stuff happening in Rift right now! Woot! Can't wait to dive in! :)

Here's a list of what's cooking:
  • Return to Hammerknell: Apparently while we Ascended are distracted by beating up Lord Arak's army in the Plane of Water, he's been busy doing all kinds of naughty things. Mainly, cooking up nightmares for us to experience. Oh joy. Apparently we're scared of the Dwarven home, so it's back to Hammerknell to put an end to Akylios...again. Lord Arak has the mojo to bring Akylios back to life, or to a semblance of life, and we need to stop him before Aky devours everyone's minds. According to Trion, the whole spirit of the raid has staid the same, but it's now geared toward the new end game (lvl 65). Sadly, I don't have time to dedicate to raids in Rift now, but I play to! Some day...
  • Improvements to the IA scene: The adventure will now randomly send us Ascended anywhere in the world, in groups of up to 20 players. Approximately every half hour, it will send us to some other random location, just to keep things exciting. Let's see if things actually keep exciting eh? I find IA exciting and chaotic enough as it is lol!
    • Also in the IA department, they've done some good things toward trying to weed out moochers and afkers, which has always been a problem in IA's. Lots of people like the fast track to end game, so just hop into an IA and than sit there and reap the rewards without doing any of the work. According to Trion, they've added some things to help cut back on that.
    • There's a new currency now, called Commendations of Renown, instead of just that zone's rep. You can then turn in these commendation thingies at a vendor and pick whatever rep you want for whatever faction you want to level first. That's actually pretty cool, as there's a few factions I'd really like to level above all others!
    • And some other stuff pertaining to zone events, which I didn't really care either way about.
  • Wardrobe Updates! They did a LOT of work on the wardrobe system. I noticed that immediately upon logging in. Instead of having to hoard armor to keep the unique appearance you want for your wardrobe, you "collect" that armor's appearance when you first acquire the armor. Or weapon for that matter. That way you don't have to use up your bank spaces for armor and weapons you want to keep! Which is a HUGE plus for me because I LOVE wardrobe and cosmetic stuff!! Now I'll just have to weed through my stuff and get rid of the weapons and armor I don't need anymore! The dyeing process is also easier, although the dyes are CRAZY expensive! Like omg expensive.....ugh! But now you can rename your wardrobe, get special achievements, and even earn unique wardrobe items just by collecting more looks!
  • Fishing Derbies have now come to the Plane of Water. Well, I'm not really sure what a fishing derby is... but I bet it's fun!
  • New Twisted Artifacts. Twisted Artifacts added to Nightmare Tide zones! Woot!!
  • New Nightmare Rift tiers. Well that should keep the end gamers happy. For 2 seconds.
  • Nightmare Tide Onslaughts. Oh joy, we now have onslaughts in the Plane of Water. Daily and Weekly quests are now available for Onslaughts in Goboro Reef, Tarken Glacier and Draumheim.
  • Also lots of updates and improvements to general UI and gameplay stuff, updates to minions, more immprovements on the IA front, tweaks, changes, nerfs, etc to souls, changes to dungeons and zones, all the good stuff that comes with a big patch.