Dragon's Wrath

Sepherene's Anger Management Log II
I am attempting to make my logs more often. It took much too long to complete the last one. So I believe where I last left off was when our group was heading towards Hjubah to find Camreal’s parents. See, when I originally joined this group I did not realize that they were involved ultimatum with a Third Circle demon. Kitin, the demon, was summoned to protect Camreal’s old village and he is stuck there until he no longer has to protect the people of his village, including Camreal’s parents. Kitin struck a deal with us, that he would not destroy us and everyone we know and care for, if we kill Camreal’s parents. Normally, I would say to hang the demon, we’ll destroy him or die trying before we kill any innocent people, but it has come to my attention that they are most likely Abyssal Exalts. And I refuse to help anything controlled by a Deathlord. I’ve heard the stories of Thorns when I was young. It has stuck with me since. So when an ally of the Phoenix came to us with the news that they are in Hjubah, we set out immediately. Upon arrival, we saw that Hjubah was in ruins, as it has been for many years. There was some type of explosion years ago and it leveled most of the city. Skyscrapers toppled, buildings crumpled, monsters thrived, people died. In the city, we found a lake, a large crater which was the source of the explosion, and a large system of aquaducts that encircle the city. Of course, a portion of them are destroyed along with everything else. After a bit of searching around, we notice that there are people on top of the aquaducts. They are walking around, looking off into the distance, holding papers out and all sorts of things. I steal one of the papers and alert the men to our presence. I notice they are responding with surprisingly non-violent action, and more awe than anything. And after a few moments to figure out what to do, we approach them, declaring we are not hostile. They asked us for proof that we were not members of the Shining Path. And I show them, after someone explains to me that the Shining Path is the cult that most likely follows Camreal’s parents. And since we realize we are on the same team, or at least not opposing teams, we ask to see their leader. And they take us immediately. We come in to a lighthouse which is part of the aquaducts and we are introduced to a man named Cynis Indry. I despise the Cynis House but I decide not to cause any problems. But I could’ve sworn I’ve heard that name before. Indry is leaning over a large table in the center of the room which seems to have a map of the city. He goes on about why hes here. He was searching for a vault for some high paying Dynast. That’s when I realize, I heard of him all right. He’s part of the Wyld Hunt! With a quick look of our surroundings, his second in command is standing in full combat gear with his hand on his sword. And then I see Indry grab a knife from the table and turn around quickly for the first time. I decide its better to strike sooner rather than later and I promptly bring my boot into his face sending him back into his second in command. Swords are drawn around the room, but Indry seems more confused than anything. I feel embarrassed almost immediately and the Phoenix is right there to make me feel worse. I explain to him that Indry is part of the Wyld Hunt and it is explained to me just how wrong I was. That’s when I find out that Indry is not part of the Wyld Hunt and is actually the greatest treasure hunter in the realm. His maps were not for conquer but for exploration and plunder. The Phoenix, despite my rash actions, has managed to come out of the room with a deal. We will help him find the vault if he can help us while we are here for our mission. He points us towards the Blotch and the Fluid Residence (A manse). Those are our best places to start. So we sleep for the night and first thing in the morning we head out to the Fluid Residence. It was both safer and closer. On our way there we come across some Shining Path followers for the first time in Hjubah. I thought they must be inside the Fluid Residence. After an attack that left only one alive and a botched interrogation that left us with nothing but hints of some “Juggernaut”, we continue forward to the manse. I lead the way until, all of a sudden, I fall. It takes me a second to realize that there is no hole. I seem to be falling into the ground but it moves as if liquid. The Fluid Residence suddenly makes more sense. All of us use different forms of travel to get to the Manse. I flew for the first time. It was a wonderful feeling. I knew that essence can give remarkable abilities and super natural gifts. But I never dreamed one day I would take to the skies like bird. Too bad the Phoenix can’t do this. It would really give his symbolism some ground to stand on. Being the first to arrive, I quickly search the place and notice it seems to be empty, broken and it is filled with water. They arrive shortly after that and we are quickly attacked by a number of fish. They seem to be large goldfish but with tentacles. Odd. They inhabit the water in the manse, and after we kill them it is apparent that they were no match for us. Searching for the hearthroom, we have nowhere to go but down. And sure enough we find it along with a small fountain inside. There are tons of papers all over the floor and a quick inspection shows us that the Manse was never truly finished. They attempted to power it up and it caused some explosion in a first manse built long before it. Thanks to Camreal’s extensive knowledge of Geomancy, we are able to get it operating correctly and we attune to it immediately. This makes the second manse in our control. After sleeping another night in the Fluid Residence, we set out for the Blotch. Its a long dangerous journey across this destroyed city. The last stretch before we reach the Blotch, we are forced to travel through some wrecked buildings. While, moving from one to another, we hear some people coming. We hide, and I activate my suit, expecting to fade out of existence. Instead, I am greeted by painful screaming and immediately turn it off. I turn around to see a ghost hovering behind me. It was not very happy so to avoid a fight, especially with people coming, I leapt up to where the two buildings met and peaked out at the people coming towards us. As they come out a hole in the side of the building, they notice the spirit immediately and capture it with little to no effort. The Phoenix shows himself after realizing who they are. They were sent here by the Realm after the explosion to prevent it from being turned into a shadowland. Apparently, they didn’t succeed but they were still alive. They weren’t very happy though. They immediately retreated into the building and I took off after them. I followed them through the shattered building. They started to move down towards ground level. I realized I had to stop them and after they wouldn’t listen to reason, I leapt down the hole and stole the captured ghost from them. Once we were all on the ground, they tell me to hand it over but I wouldn’t for my life. I order them to tell me everything they know and I’ll return it. They tell me that they are bringing the ghosts back to the Speakers, a man and woman. They begin to search out more ghosts, and due to a suit malfunction I end up back with the group. I tell them what I found out about the two Speakers. We decide to continue forward. Our goal is straight ahead of us. As we hit the ground level, it was the home stretch before we actually enter the Blotch. Thats when we heard the thunder, or what we thought was thunder. Little did we know, in just a moment we were gonna find out what the Juggernaut really was. As the hulking, black armored monster came thundering towards us, Kalak and Leon grabbed their swords and prepared for a fight. I grabbed Camreal and took off toward the Blotch, knowing that we would regret getting too close to that..thing. Body and essence pushing us as fast as possible, we reached the the edge of the crater in no time and I leapt into the air and soared down towards the people in the basin. I saw everything was built around some central pillar and at the bottom there are large double doors. We soar down and down at break-neck speed. And as we slam into the ground, I realize we are surrounded by Path Walkers. Luckily, nihilists don’t know anger. They explain that it is not time for the sermon yet. But we obviously aren’t looking for their philosophies so I open the door anyway. The door opened up into a large, dark cathedral. Everyone walked in and began to search around. I thought that if there is a sermon soon, there must be another way into the cathedral for the Speakers to make their appearance. So I go behind the altar and find a single doorway with some stairs that go down. I went down the stairs to the next door frame and peeked through. What I saw on the other side was creepy, and definitely worthy of the name Shining Path. The room was lit by eery blue and green torches, and there were a number of cloaked figures standing around. After a moment of watching, one of the figures turns their head enough to expose its face. It was quite alarming. They looked.. dead. And they were all standing around some machine in the center of the room. On the far side of the room is a bag, just like the one that those people captured the ghost in. The cultists opened the bag and the machine sucked a number of spirits in, the ghosts screaming the entire time, and started pushing blue jars out of another end of it. It seems to be containing the spirits. The screams are unnerving. They sound like women and children. After we kill Camreal’s parents, I thought I would have to free them and set them to rest. Finally, I tear my eyes away from the machine and continue looking around the room. I finally see a man and woman, alive, and they seem to be controlling this process. I use Iam to contact the others. Tell them I’ve found the Speakers and that Camreal should come to the base of

the stairs to confirm it. After a few moments, he appears looking into the room and gives me a small nod. It’s them. We’ve made it.

I tell Kalak and Leon to count to 10 and come running. I step out of the shadows making my presence obvious. “Hey, I’m very sorry. I guess I’m early?” Camreal’s parents seem surprised that I’m here but not afraid. “Yes the sermon wont begin for another hour.” They tell me. "Well that’s a shame because there are a bunch of people upstairs. I turn my head towards the stairs and the rest of the group comes running out. “See how I could be confused?” They didn’t find my shenanigans funny. These people are all business. Before we can attack, they tell us that they know why we are here and they are hoping that we can settle this peacefully. “The best way to do that is to surrender yourselves.” But of course I’m not that lucky. They talk of striking another deal with Kitin trading a large number of souls from this ruined city instead of their two souls. Of course it’s a gamble and there is no way to guarantee it. Me and Leon both disagree, while Kalak and Camreal are listening intently. After a quick discussion it becomes clear that neither side is going to budge and Leon gives up. I am the only one that doesn’t wish to work with these Abyssals and doom hundreds

of souls to untold torture in Hell. I play it calm for a few more moments evaluating my situation. If I could just kill one of them, then the odds of them going through with this plan shrink considerably. I immediately leap across the room, grab one of the creepy torches, nock it, and send it flying from a bow towards Camreal’s mother. It doesn’t pierce her as I wished and everyone seems prepared to stop me. So I activate my suit and take off before they can stop me.

A few hours later, I arrive in the lighthouse. Although initially Indry is afraid of why I am there, I quickly explained that my friends have been perverted by evil and are helping a pair of Abyssal Exalts in the Blotch. “We must destroy them before they do something irreparable.” We are going to blow the place sky high.. again. I begin to tell him the layout of the place so that we can plan this better. “Did you say jade??” Indry faces lights up and he starts talking about his vault. That might be the location of the vault he has been looking for. So the plan changes a little bit. We get a bunch of his men, and his explosives and load it all up in his carts. We travel straight into the blotch and prepare for the craziest idea I’ve ever had. We move straight down the cathedral so Indry can inspect it. After a few minutes, the rest of the group shows up. They are curious as to why Indry is here and why I am back, but we just keep looking for the vault. They attempt to investigate the carts but I don’t believe any one realized the danger I brought with me. It did not take long before Indry had found the lock. After a crazy lock sequence we find that there is a slot in the wall. It is shaped like something I’ve seen before.. Leon. He has a pendant that hes made very clear is extremely important to him. And it is the same size and shape. He may literally hold the key to this vault. We convince him to try it, and it works. The vault opens up, and we see riches. Untold riches. I start inspecting and counting the jade pieces and such, and Indry says that there should be something else. He didn’t come here to find money. He continues walking through and finds a door all the way at the end. He opens it, and inside the room he finds a large scale. It is as long as a staff and has two handles. Indry starts babbling about this thing. Of course! Legendary! I cant.. wait for it! Finally I can’t take it anymore. “Are you gonna tell us what it is?” “This is the Demon Scale. The story says that it can judge the weight of someone’s soul. If the legend is true the Scarlet Empress won it from a third circle demon years ago by proving her soul weighed more than his. The demon got so angry that he hurled the scale far off into the horizon. The scale takes into account your past, present, and future and sees what you shall accomplish for Creation. Nobody knows what she won, but they say it was something incredibly powerful. Wait, if it landed here then.. The lake wasn’t formed by a meteor at all!” With all the information, we realize that we now have a way to finish this Kitin problem once and for all. All we need is to challenge him, prove one of us is better than him and, in his weakened state, slay him. Me and Leon both suggest Kalak. But of course we still have months before this happens. So now we play the waiting game. We all leave, content to be working together again, and head back to the Fluid Residence. I go back to the lighthouse with Indry and talk with him about other things we could do. Iam says that he has data on half of the city, the part with the Fluid Residence, and he can tell us things about the past and present. So if we had another Manse, we could have all of the information on Hjubah, even why exactly it blew up. We know it was a geomantic error. But that’s about it. And based on what Iam tells me, I had what I thought was a crazy idea. Iam says that there are no remnants of the manse that exploded. So that means either the explosion was big enough to incinerate the manse but not big enough to incinerate anything around it or something else is going on here. Wherever that manse is, it’s in one piece. So after such a long discussion about it all, Indry points me towards a few key places that could give us some information on the manse. The first one is the museum. So we arrive in front of the Museum and it is large and mostly still in one piece. Kalak opens the door and theres a distinct decompression. we step in to see everything covered in some thick, blue goo. We all split up and take a different wing. I remember Indry saying that local history would be the best bet. So I take that one. After analyzing all the murals and things, there is one thing that is not described at all. And it is the first manse. I look back towards the time it would have been built in the timeline of their exhibit but there is just an empty spot. It struck me as odd. And of course with a closer inspection, I find a button and a secret door. I walk through and there is a secret exhibit. The Seven Pointed Star. The Seven Pointed Star was the manse that was built in Hjubah and later “exploded.” The plaques all describe it as Malfean in nature! And as I move further into the exhibit, there were paintings of the Scarlet Empress. They all imply but would never state that she had it erected. but in one of the paintings, she was holding a hearthstone. The shape, a seven pointed star, looked very familiar actually. I’ve seen it on the side of the Demon Scale. Realizing that the only way our plan to defeat Kitin will only work if we have that hearthstone, I start gathering all the stuff in that room that isn’t nailed down. I’m going to bring it all back and see what Indry can make of it all. I leave the secret room to see Leon wandering aimlessly. He seems lost and says we must leave immediately, if we can. That’s when we here a crash. A large statue with a bull’s head and large axe comes crashing through the hallway. It uses some essence technique to cloud my visor. As I open it, I caught a whiff of some terrible stench probably given off by the goo. I leap into the air, swing from the ceiling, and kick the statue monster in the face. I’m not sure why, but even though my boots connected well, it didn’t seem to phase him at all. Me and Leon take a few turns trying to break the statue but we have no luck. So we do the smart thing, and run. We never would’ve made it out if we hasn’t run into the others. Every time we ran towards the exit we would be in a different wing. There was some illusion affecting us. But apparently Kalak and Camreal could see through it. As we leave the museum, we head back to the Residence, and call it a day. I decide to relax with some tea and write a story..
View
hectic life

I know i have not rote in a while. I had found more news about my parents and there order of the shining path and the fact they were abisals since i last wrote. Me and my group of travelers had found there whereabouts and confronted them. I could not go through with the original deal i had with kiyten. seeing them i could not bring myself to kill them. Even though they had left me thinking they were dead and did not bother to contact me all these years to at least let me know they were alive. I had to find out that they were from a demon of all things. Seeing there there was so much i wanted to ask them. i wanted to know where they been how they managed to survive the attack on my village. Since they survived why they were never there when i felt so alone in this life. Why did they never help me in my studies of geomancy or necromancy. I would have even loved i little advice now and then. although if i was able to ask all i wanted to know my group would have never gotten on with are mission. with everything they put me through i could not bring myself to kill them. lucky for me i was not alone in convincing the group to side with my parents instead because keleck had a stack in this as well for kiyten had marked him and needed my parents help to fix him. although leon and seferon were not so easily swayed. they still wanted my parents dead but i could not allow them to do that after all i had just been reunited with my parents i don’t think i ever really planned to kill them. I don’t remember all the details of how we managed to convince them that siding with my parents was the better option but we must have for no blood was spilled that night. My parents had a way to please kiyten and not have to die they would offer them all the souls they had collected in this room. although we had no way of getting the demon here or not enough souls so we left with the task of getting more souls. although instead we found the vault that had inside it the demon skill. a item were one can way ones soul to that of a demon,s and if the persons soul is worth more weaken the demon to the point were it could be banished. after visiting a musum we found out we might need a special harth stone to operate it. only thing is we have no clue where the manse is that carry it

View
Sepherene's Anger Management

So, my fellow sisters have seen that I have been on edge the last month or so. They say it may be best for me to write out my thoughts. They believe it to be therapeutic. So here goes nothing..

These problems all started a month or so ago. I was headed towards Speandal, a large city in the Dragons Wrath Plains. Its unique in the way it has a ground level and an upper level suspended by a complex system of criss-crossing pillars. And a number of lifts to travel between
the two. As my sisters and I find board, I decide to investigate the city and I come across a fight which has caused explosions, collapsed buildings and a very swelled ego in a specific Solar, The Ascending Phoenix. He is attacking a monk, which seemed foolish, but he was the
first one of my kind I had found so I decided it might be in my best interest to help him. So during a break in the fight, I sneak towards the monk,and manage to convince him that I have been hunting him and I wish to help. “You may have no reason to trust me but I’m going to do
it anyway, but I feel we’ll have a better chance of success if we work together. But of course you know that, you’re the wise religous leader.” After a small scuffle with the Ascending Phoenix, I swap sides and make my escape with the “Anathema.” He apparently had other friends:
Camreal who is a Lunar, Leon who is a fire aspect Terrestial, Virtuous Reed who is a Twilight. We escape to the lower city, and make a plan for the next few days. After a display of caste marks, we all agree to help each other for a while. And try to plan our next move against the
Immaculates. As we draw plans for battle, Silken Venom, a local God, says that it may be best for us to scout out tunnels under the city. He says there are devices down there clouding his senses. So he aids us how he can and we depart immediately, hoping to find something that can
help us in the fall of Speandal. If only I had known how right we were..

So as we traveled beneath the undercity of Speandal, we found poisonous gases, monsters, ancient technology, and a First Age Solar Manse. We started traveling through and and we didn’t find much at first. But eventually the caverns led into an actual hallway with rooms filled with
all sorts of things. One seemed to be a device that had two spoons attached. They rotated very quickly. But who could eat that fast? And why were there holes in it? I suppose I am not the best with technology. But that is what we have Reed for. He actually is a rock scientist. We
continued farther and discovered a very large chamber. As we started to explore it, they were attacked. Something in this place was invisible. I saw that there was a device on the wall that seemed to be out of sync. I activated my spider-foot style, and ran along the wall until I
reached it. At the time I wasn’t sure what the device did. It seemed to be some golden blades that were swinging from a fixed point. Two of the blades were scraping when they passed each other so I used my father’s boots to knock the one back into its normal alignment. It was
relatively easy despite having to hang down in between the giant swinging blades that surely kill a lesser Exalt. I almost wish the terrestial had tried first. Something about him rubs me the wrong way. He says he is on our side, but he hasn’t said anything about exile. So I must
assume subterfuge.

After the device was realigned, I continued farther along the large chamber, I came across a large tapestry that spanned the wall and at the bottom, on the floor, a large bug with blades on its back. I take a quick look around and see that there is an abundance of these creatures.
These are what my allies are fighting. I realized I have to stop this now. I am familiar with the idea of a hive mind, so I decide to take a chance. I use my razor claws to cut my way down the tapestry, riding it like the waves crashing on a shore, and as I near the floor I
leap from the wall and attempt to extinguish the bug. Sadly, my efforts were thwarted. Its chitinous armor was nigh-impenetrable, and its claws had the strength of the gravity of a thousand suns. I had made peace with my life’s end, when the bug began to speak with me, albeit
in rough, short words. I attempt to make a deal with the bug for our release. Once the Queen is inclined to acquiesce my request, the Phoenix comes along and begins the whole process over again. Although I realized he must be used to leading this group, does he think I am incompetent?
Perhaps, I just have to prove my worth, whether he allows me or not.

These bugs are now speaking of their master. They take orders from someone else. This thought is intriguing. If there was some way to gain control of them. But that is for another time perhaps. After a short time of arguing and exploration, their master comes. It is none other than Virtuous
Reed. Being a native of this town, he had created and hidden these bugs here for a purpose. He speaks of raising these halls, using these bugs to lift the castle from it’s swampy grave. It is a First Age Solar Manse of War and it can do amazing things if it is restored. But he says that in doing this, we will destroy Speandal. Completely. Everyone will die, but it is necessary. As I ready myself for a fight, I realize that there isn’t one. They love the idea. What in the Gods is wrong with these idiots? How will we ever live the life we want when our first major act is filled with such death and destruction? These fools are blinded by glory and power. Although, that is man. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was surprised. I spent what felt like ages trying to talk them out of this, but they heard none of it. I was sure this would end with their blood spilt. But then someone talked sense. Evacuation. The Immaculates were already planning it because of the stunt that the Ascending Phoenix pulled. They want the people of Speandal to believe he is a monster. Uprooting them from their homes is surely one way to do so. Although really, they would just need to hear him speak as I just did. So after a long discussion, which is a recurring theme with these people, I get them to agree to let me go up to Higher Speandal and evacuate the rest of the city.

I spend the next few days in upper Speandal while they prepare for raising the manse and evacuating the lower city. I am glad to be on my own again. They are not the easiest group to work with. So far, everything I have attempted on my own has been a success until they put their filthy masculine fingers on it. If they had let me do what I wish, we wouldn’t even be doing this right now. I could’ve gained control of the “cutters” used them to remove the Immaculates from the city. Still, if things go awry, I can always go back to Father Downpour. I’ve already managed to get my hands on the Ascending Phoenix’s sigil. Something that he would only give to an ally. So on day three, I finally set my plan into action. I find a lowly immaculate, kill him, and use his attire to gain access to the places that they are currently keeping prisoners. While wearing the robes, I simply tell the guards that it something has gone wrong and Father Downpour has requested them immediately. They resist at first, but I remind them that “it will be there head” and they quickly change tune. At that point, I walk into the holding area, request that everyone remain calm, and walk to the evacuation points. With the news that they are free to go, nobody causes problems or asks questions, too afraid to look a gift horse in the mouth. I only had a few hours left at this point. And I finally knew what I wanted. And I knew how I could use it to gain me some influence. All I needed was the Ascending Phoenix..

I searched out Father Downpour. “You!” he screamed. “Why should I not kill you here?!” I simply reminded him that I’m the only way he’ll ever see the Ascending Phoenix again and his tune changed like undertrousers in Thorns. “I can bring him here. Now. I have his sigil as proof I know where he is and he trusts me. The only thing I wish from you is your hammer. It is a powerful weapon, and a sign of faith. It is unbelievably useful to anyone who holds it. His head, for your hammer.” Despite his reluctance, he agrees. And I tell him to meet me at the top of the center stairs in an hour.

“Kalak I need your help. There is something I need and you are the only one that can help me get it.” I realized I wasn’t teling him enough, but if he knew he may not help me. And there is too much power in that hammer to waste. I tie his hands up. and walk him up the stairs, unmolested.
When we get to the top, the foes face each other and the Phoenix realizes what I have done. Luckily, he is either a good actor or extremely disappointed I betrayed him. None the less, he doesn’t break the rope. Downpour’s men put the Phoenix on his knees and put his head on a table.
Things are about to get messy unless I act quickly. “Wait now, we had a deal! I need the hammer, before I lose my leverage.” It took some work, he was unwilling to give me the hammer first, but eventually I got through to him. “What a defeat to kill him with his own weapon.” With the
hammer in my hands, I watched the Grand Daiklave rise into the air. I remember making eye contact with the Phoenix, and although he would never admit it, I could see the fear in his eyes. I regret to this day, the decision I made here. I took the hammer, and hefted it right into
Downpour’s legs, sweeping them out from under him. I leaned over Downpour looked him right in the eye and asked him with the biggest grin I could muster, “Now what have we learned?” We made our escape to the lower city, and that’s when we realized the danger we were in.. The cutters
were already released. And they were cutting through the pillars. Speandal really would fall.

The next few days were kind of blurry. There was the huge fight for the destruction of Speandal, then the rebuilding of Speandal, the raising of the Manse, repairing it, and finally exploring it and finding a way to attune to it. There is so much involved it’s likely to cause me more stress
than its worth to recite these events. But rest assured, it was exhausting.

Next we went.. somewhere. Torvus! That was it. I’m not sure why we went. They don’t explain a lot to me. I vaguely remember retrieving an orichalcum-feathered bird. But I couldn’t tell you how it happened. All I remember is disliking Leon more and my hair was singed. Which may be linked somehow..But here we are, in Torvus and there is a very strong Immaculate presence. They seemed to be hunting down all the Phoenix’s followers. His influence reaches farther than I thought possible. Here he is with a large cult following and I’ve got a ragtag band of women.
I feel like I have been slacking in my quest for the throne. After all, if he could do it.. But anyway, we hear there will be a meeting for all the expected anathema worshipers. They will come and listen to the monks preach, telling them to turn away from their dark path before its too late. It should be an interesting spectacle. I can’t wait to see it.

So I sat quietly in the ampitheater, waiting for the show to begin. Thats when I heard it. Marching..chanting.. an open declaration of rebellion. I rush out of the ampitheater only to see a crowd of people moving toward the ampitheater chanting for the Phoenix. To stop the noise, a fire aspect comes out and threatens to kill them. I forget her name. She was a Magistrate or something.. Oh well, I saw her conjure the fire to her weapon and the fear in people’s eyes. I wish I could remember what she said, but Terrestrials often provoke a buzzing, trumpet-y sound when I attempt to listen to them. “Wah wah wah-wah wahhh wah wahh.” I’m pretty sure that’s why Leon and I don’t get along so well. Perhaps in time..

“The Ascending Phoenix should be the least of your worries!” Not my most intimidating line, but the show of power had to unsettle her. Or so I thought. I was foolish and headstrong. I attacked head like some brute. It took 3 seconds and one slash and I was terribly wounded. I under
estimated her abilities and it nearly killed me. I took off running, hoping I had given the people a long enough distraction to escape. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore. All I thought was run, gather my things and escape to Speandal. Everyone followed behind me, and and sadly, that
included the Magistrate and all her lackeys.

I separated from them on the way back to Speandal. Since we were being followed, I thought it best if I doubled backward and flared my anima to give the people extra time to rest. It went off without a hitch. And I even left downpour’s hammer at the spot of my eruption. It warned them
that we were prepared to destroy them if they continued persuing us.

We arrive back at Speandal, with more people and more scars. I, of course, arrived first. I went to Virtuous Reed to see if he had any medical supplies. He did not. But he did manage to heal me and then some. There was an experiment he wished me to participate in. Something about porcupine quills. It hurt a lot but it was very useful. I’ll get to that part.. The Phoenix decides it is time to claim himself a God to be worshipped by his cult when he returns. I wasn’t sure I was willing to allow him this. After all I had done to help him, how is he the only one that recieves the acclaim? It did not take much convincing. I must say although the Ascending Phoenix isn’t the smartest of leaders, tactically or otherwise, he means well. And that is a much more admirable quality. He quickly accepted the idea that we should rule as a group. We constructed a pantheon. I was named Archon of Blinding Justice of the great city of Beacon. So much symbolism, it hurts. I do like it though. It gives our people something to strive for. We even include Silken Venom.

Everything was going well when we were given a tip that the leader of the Wyld Hunt was on his way. It caused quite the panic among us, and we began preparing for battle immediately. We will be a formidable foe. I’ve secretly been working on exit strategies. Hopefully, I won’t need them. But I haven’t survived this long by staying optimistic. And to top it all off, they want to go to a fortress to the south. Apparently it has followers of the Phoenix from before the fall of Speandal. So we start on the 12 hour hike.

When we near the fortress, we can see people on the walls. They seem to be watching us approach. I went ahead and scout with some of the cutters. There was a valley that looks like it had previously been filled with water but has long since dried up. A moat? Cutters began tunnel under the fort. As I began to move back to the group, the watchers on the wall yelled out to us. “Did Father Downpour send you?!” The Phoenix confirms that we are in fact sent by Father Downpour. Then he includes me in the plan by suggesting I don myself in the Immaculate robes and follow him in. So as we enter the fortress, we see a Guard Captain and an Immaculate Monk. Unsure what to do here, I ask, “so what has been going on recently? Father Downpour didn’t spare so many details..” They talk of their efforts to convert the people of the Archons back to Immaculate believers. I had to think quickly, and I had to make them believe I was one of them. After a veiled suggestion of torture, they were appauled and said they were not allowed to harm them. That was unexpected. So I did the first thing that came to mind. “No! No! That is not what I meant at all! What is wrong with you??” Outrage is the best way to get somebody off your back. “I was thinking something more..outside the normal. Sermon may be a way to convert children, or the godless.
But it will have no effect on someone that has had their mind perverted in such a way.” Have you thought about maybe killing the Phoenix? How hard could that be?" They were confused. They had no idea how to find him, let alone kill him. “You are a fool. You can have a fake Ascending
Phoenix arrive to save them with a group of followers and then have him fall to your captain. they believe he is dead and no longer truly deserving of worship.” They loved the idea. The captain gets to be the Phoenix Slayer, the Immaculate gets the credit for turning the followers of the Archons back. “We even have our own forces here outside. They could disguise themselves as his Phoenix Guard. We march on the fortress, you leave the gates open, fake fight, yada, yada, yada, and then stab! the phoenix goes down and you come out smelling like a white mushroom.”

The battle went off without issue. We turned on them, killed them and we were about to begin celebrating. But then I realized we needed the Immaculate monk dead. I run straight across the fort, jump into his window and begin attacking him. but not before he activates some stone statue
on the wall and it starts blasting magical water. In moments the room is full and the monk is making it very difficult to kill him. In frustration I lash out at the statue, hoping to halt its watery flow. I break off an arm, and then part of its jaw. The monk seems alarmed. Hes trying to stop me, and so I assume I must be close to breaking it. As I bash the other arm, I am caught off guard as the dragon tears from the wall, lift me up and swims straight through the other side of the room. Little did I know, the fortress has been filling with water. As we are swimming through the fortress, I am trying to escape. I use my pure strength to wriggle free, swing his remaining arm around the remainder of his jaw, and I use it rein him. Thats when I hear “Can you let me go? Please?” We reasoned and struck a deal. Long story short, I defeated a contained river god, freed him, and he is now my ally. He rid the place of the deadly water, and is currently now working on restoring his river that I earlier believe to be a moat. One more God to add to the Pantheon.

I would continue with more detail but apparently we are heading to find Camreal’s parents.. So this will continue..

View
The Secrets of Speandal

Kalak paced the streets of Lower Speandal, occasionally looking up at the great hole in the colossus platform thousands of feet above his head. He had barely slept since the destruction of the Immaculate Temple. Detonating the firedust reserves had gone off without a hitch (whether or not he trusted him, The Shadow of the Mountain had proven a useful ally), but now he was worse off than ever before. The ensuing battle with Father Downpour had destroyed the city’s four elevators and left his Phoenix Guard, his worshipers and his fellow Exalted trapped in Lower Speandal. If they took the main tower to the Upper City, the Dynasts would know immediately, and anyone who tried to leave the city would be smudged from Creation by the Spiral-Topped Manse.

His message of rebellion against the Immaculate Order had left trapped and under siege. And worse, those trapped with him were starting to break under pressure. “Realm loyalists are trapped in the Lower City as well, my Lord Phoenix,” a defected Thousand Scales named Jerric had told Kalak the other day, “They seek amnesty with those above us, and it won’t be long until the hunger of the others outweighs their faith. To escape this without surrender is impossible.” Kalak stopped as he thought of that conversation, watching the sun shine through the hole in the Upper City. His thoughts drifted to his past and what had brought him here. He put a hand towards his chest, the scars were healed but he still remembered the words as if the Shadow of the Mountain cut them yesterday: I will come for you when the sun of your life is at it’s peak.

“They say it is impossible to escape this.” Kalak said to no one in particular, “I promised to do the impossible the day Thorns fell…”

He would get out of this city, he already had a sizable force and the entire city of Torvus at his back. If he could contact them somehow they could-

A look of realization came across Kalak’s face before he took off for the inn his Circle was using as a base.
=====================

“The Serpent what?”, Silken Venom asked, his eight eyes doing the spider equivalent to raising an eyebrow.

“In Torvus, we met a ”/campaigns/dragon-s-wrath/characters/lawret" class=“wiki-content-link”>Solar who used a giant snake to collect books from libraries across Creation." Kalak said to the Circle, which had gathered at an inn in the lower city. “If the serpent’s tunnels run underneath Speandal, then we can escape with our followers to Torvus.”

“What does this have to do with the god?” Maiden Sepherene asked, resting her feet on the table in the inn’s common room.

“Silken Venom is the god of the city,” Kalak said, “He omniscient within the walls of Speandal. He can find the location, and we can escape all the more quickly.”

“Yes, well….about that….” Silken Venom was rubbing his front legs together nervously, “You see…..I have no idea what’s occurring under the city.” Realizing that all the eyes in the room were on him, the god explained his situation. “A few thousand years ago, this city was ruled by a Solar named ”/campaigns/dragon-s-wrath/characters/lord-circon-of-the-coiled-sun" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lord Circon of the Coiled Sun. We got into an argument because he was able to hide his palace from my divine sight, I got really angry and….I sank the whole thing…."

Camreal was sitting on the the table, but the shaking of his feline head told him that he was upset about the issue at hand. Leon spoke up at the cat’s silence, “Then we’ll have to explore it ourselves to find these tunnels. I suggest we-”

“Hang on,” Kalak asked, looking at the god, “Are you saying that there are First Age ruins sitting under this city?” The spider nodded, and the Ascending Phoenix grinned.

“People…I think a new plan is in order.”

=================

The passages beneath the Spiral Topped Manse had been long and winding. Eventually leading the group to an enormous building marked with the symbol of a dragon wrapped around the sun.

View
At long last

after being stuck as a cat for so long i can finally get back to writing about my adventure. It is still weird trying to wight though because i am technically dead but am possessing my own body. I don’t remember exactly how i managed to be able to transform again but now i can. i also gained the ability to control the bones of other living creatures and make the do as i command. along with the ability to make person of my chose stare into the void and see a image of themselves that makes them die for it is not something meant for human eyes to see. my group of companions were in town to hear a speech. but had to intervene when inasents were going to be killed. i was able to control one of them and make them stop but was stabbed from behind while anther of my group was burned badly seeing that we were out matched we fled the town.

View
Introduction of Ledaal Leonel

In search of anathema to assist him with his cause, Leon came upon the great city of Speandal. Leon had heard rumors of anathema heading in this direction. So Leon ventured into the city on his search. Taking a lift to the upper city, Leon looked out to witness the aftermath of riots in the lower city. Word of an “Ascending Phoenix” coming to save them all.

Leon went to the Immaculate Temple in the upper city to get some rest from his journey. It did not take very long to find trouble. A voice rang out in the city. Booming through every building and every street.

“People of Speandal…I am the Ascending Phoenix and the true Emperor of the Realm!!", roared the voice. Leon jumped to his feet and grabbed his sword. Running out of the Immaculate Temple grounds, Leon was blinded by a light as bright at the sun. Looking up, the silhouette of a man clad in armor on top of the Ledaal Estate.

“The Immaculate Order wishes to kill me and keep the people of the Realm under the boot of the Scarlet Dynasty!! They wish to see those who would achieve greatness put to the sword and forgotten!!”, boomed the voice.

Leon rushed into the building that the man was standing on. The voice continued but was muffled due to Leon rushing up the stairs. Halfway up Leon caught the phrase, “Let me show you what happens to those the Unconquered Sun deems to be heretics…" An explosion shook the building and knocked Leon of balance. He rushed to a window to see debris and fire engulfing the Immaculate Temple.

“This man is insane!” He gasped. Leon was almost at the top floor when a boom came from over his head. Tearing the roof off the building. Leon jumped up to the remaining part of the roof. The man that was standing there was sent sailing through the air and into another building. And his attacker in fast pursuit. Leon drew his blade and rushed in.

There he saw Father Downpour, hammer in hand, going blow for blow with the Ascending Phoenix. Downpour was knocked back out of the building by the Phoenix. He smiled and looked up to the sky. Rain started to fall and lightning crackled. Leon jumped into the fray, blade in flames, but was sent flying into the building. Something came at him, It wasn’t Downpour. It was a woman. Leon parried her kick and knocked her to the ground.

“Im not who you think i am.” the woman muttered. She looked over at Downpour then back at Leon. They shared a nod and dashed at Downpour. The woman knocked him off balance and gave Leon an opportunity to strike. This attacked knocked Downpour back a good distance. He got up and laughed, “You fools! You think you can get away with this??” He struck his hammer to the ground with all his force. Crumbling the disk of the upper city beneath our feet.

Unable to react, Leon, the woman, the Ascending Phoenix, and his trusty cat sidekick all fell through the floor of the upper city. Plummeting to the lower city below, they had to save themselves. They grabbed onto the jade pillars to stop their descent. The god of the swamp below the city, Silken Venom, helped them safely reach the floor of the lower city. Where they went into hiding and finally introduced themselves. Sesus Kalak, the Ascending Phoenix, Maiden Sepherene, and Kalak’s cat friend Camreal.

View
The Holy Fires of Heresy

The city of Speandal still reeled from the events of a few days ago. The riots in the Lower City had been minor at worst, and the Immaculate Monks led by the great Father Downpour had quickly ended the rabble in the streets below. However, the city was far from at ease. Anathema had been seen within the city and people in the Lower City had chosen to follow this heretic.

Iselsi Faron never had to deal with anathema before the riots, and even then she hadn’t seen any. All she really did was get those loyal to the Realm to safety while Downpour’s favorites dealt with this Ascending Phoenix. In the end he had escaped, and the Monks weren’t even sure if there was only one Anathema in the city. Faron shook her head as she went back to sliding scrolls onto shelves. She couldn’t do much about it now. All she could do was work hard and hope that….

“Iselsi Faron?” a voice came from behind her.

“Uh, yes. That’s me.” Faron said, sliding down the ladder and turning to the young man who just entered. His uniform and satchel full of scrolls told the monk that he was a courier.

“Message for you from… Kalak of House Sesus.” the courier said, handing her a small scroll. Faron took the scroll, eyes wide. For the last five years, she had thought that her betrothed had died in the Siege of Thorns. Now after so long, he appeared in Speandal like nothing had ever changed. Slowly Faron broke the seal on the scroll and unrolled the message…

Iselsi Faron,
__
I understand that you must hate me for never attempting to contact you in the years since my house pronounced me dead. For that I apologize. I wish to speak to you about those lost years. Please meet me at the Gardens of the Spiral Topped Manse at sunset tonight. There you will know the truth.
__
Sincerely,
Kalak of House Sesus

=====================

It wasn’t hard to leave the Temple that evening, Faron had finished up all her book keeping an hour beforehand. Faron quickly left the temple, running past the painter Ledaal Venet as she headed to the Sesus estates. She wasn’t entirely sure what Kalak would wish to talk about. The last time they had spoke it seemed that he had wanted nothing to do with their betrothal. However, Kalak had been gone for five years, the least she could do is let him talk.

The Gardens of the Sesus estates were always a beautiful place. Flowers from all over the Blessed Isle had been arranged around the canals and fountains that snaked around the Spiral Topped manse. Usually there were Dynast nobles discussing politics, fawning over young maidens or simply enjoying the beauty of the gardens. This evening, however, Faron found it surprisingly empty. She sat down at the edge of a fountain depicting Daana’d, the Immaculate Dragon of Water. The gardens remained empty as the sun started to vanish on the horizon, the mirrors on the ground below dimming and casting the Lower and Upper city into darkness…..

Suddenly, a blinding light appeared, a second sun appearing just above the city. Faron covered her eyes, making out the figure standing atop one of the taller buildings in the Upper City.

“People of Speandal…I am the Ascending Phoenix and the true Emperor of the Realm!! A booming voice echoed across the city, seeming to come from the very stones of Speandal themselves. “The Immaculate Order wishes to kill me and keep the people of the Realm under the boot of the Scarlet Dynasty!! They wish to see those who would achieve greatness put to the sword and forgotten!!” Faron had begun to run from the gardens, sprinting as fast as she could back for the temple. Father Downpour would need her assistance if the anathema turned violent!

“I tell you now, the Ascending Phoenix is the voice of the Unconquered Sun,” the booming voice of the Ascending Phoenix continued, “And the Unconquered Sun deems the Immaculate Order heretics!!!” As Faron pushed through the crowds in the streets of the Upper City, she saw the shining figure extend a hand towards the Immaculate Temple. Faron listened in horror to the Ascending Phoenix’s words, “Let me show you what happens to those the Unconquered Sun deems to be heretics…

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. There was a second flash of light and a loud roar, followed by screams and gasps from the mortals in the Upper City. Faron braced herself as a large force seemed to blow everyone back. Faron stood and stared in horror at the source of the shockwave, feeling her heart sink in her chest.

The Immaculate Temple was a blazing inferno, completely consumed by flames. There was no saving it now, somehow the Ascending Phoenix had turned a centuries old monument to the Order into nothing more than a bonfire in seconds. All her friends, her work, her faith were all in flames.

She turned away from the fire, unable to look at the destruction of the place that had once been her home. Involuntarily, she found herself looking at the Ascending Phoenix, still standing atop the building and shining like a second sun. However, Faron was much closer to him now and she could now make out the features of the anathema. She felt her breath catch in her throat as she looked upon the monstrous figure. The shining golden armor was unfamiliar to her, but Faron would recognize the blood red hair anywhere in the world. She felt her hands shake in fear, barely able to utter the true name of the Ascending Phoenix.

“….Kalak?!?”

View
The Loss of an Ally

Lapis Lazuli is dead, and with him our last safe haven in Speandal.

It all began the day I spoke of the Immaculate Order’s treachery towards the Lower City. By causing the people of Spaendal to forget about Silken Venom, they were putting the Lower City in danger of the poisonous swamp gas that the god kept at bay. Needless to say, the crowd was disturbed by this news. The city had become a powder keg waiting to explode.

Shortly after my daily speech as the Harbinger of the Phoenix, my men and I were attacked by sand golems who had disguised themselves as part of my Phoenix Guard. I was ill prepared to deal with such creatures, and had Iselsi Faron not saved me, I don’t know what would have become of me. After quickly thanking my former betrothed, I left the alley. The streets of the Lower City were patrolled by Immaculate Monks. The time to act was at hand. I quickly revealed myself as the Ascending Phoenix, yelling for the people to take back their city from the Immaculate Order.

Shortly after the riot started, I was attacked by four Dragon-Blooded monks, led by a fifth monk wielding a great hammer. I didn’t catch their names, but they were clearly Fire, Wood, Earth and Air aspects. They were able to use their power to isolate me atop a great stone pillar surrounded by a barrier of fire and thorns. I had heard stories of Anathema bringing down a single Dragon-Blooded warrior easily, unfortunately I was outnumbered and these monks were clearly trained in fighting against the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun.

I managed to slay one of the monks, but it was clear this was a losing battle. I would have certainly perished against the other three if it weren’t for my many legged ally, Silken Venom. He managed to pull me out of the melee and teleport me safely to one of the city’s great elevators. From there we saw the hammer-wielding monk quickly subdue the riot with some sort of strange spell or artifact. From above, it looked remarkably similar to the Sleeplight used on us by Kean and his band of thieves over a year ago.

The city needed another sign of my power, something to show them that the actions of the Monks would not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, this meant calling upon the assistance of the deathknight scum, The Shadow of the Mountain. Once we agreed to pay him with one of the numerous artifacts Maple Leaf Shipping had obtained so long ago, the thief set to work. Under my orders, the Shadow managed to hide barrels of firedust within the Immaculate Temple of Spaendal, unseen by the monks. I didn’t ask how he managed it, but in less than a day, he provided me with an object that could be used to detonate the firedust remotely. Camreal had also managed to obtain one of the microphones used at The Summit, my plan was going to go off without a hitch.

During this time, we also discovered that we were not the only Solar Exalted in Speandal. When children tried to steal Camreal, they told us of a man who lived in the Lower City. The children led us to a small workshop, where we met Virtuous Reed. Reed had been doing strange experiments with various plants and animals, creating species that had never been seen in Creation. He seemed happy to help us out, and even said he’d attempt to find a way to get Camreal’s shapeshifting ability back. That would be wonderful, he has gotten rather sulky since he became a cat. It looked like we would soon be a force to be reckoned with.

That was until we returned to Lapis’s warehouse, where we found an ambush awaiting us. The man introduced himself as Tempest and seemed to have some sort of past with Lapis Lazuli, and not a good one considering he was attempting to burn down his warehouse. I bravely fought off the soldiers who had invaded our home while Camreal and Wallace desperately tried to find the bombs Tempest had hidden in our hideout. Alas, despite disarming all the bombs, the fires caused from the fight had spread too much and we couldn’t save the warehouse. Not only that, but Tempest had delivered a killing stroke to Lapis. We managed to pull him from the burning building, but it was too late. With his dying breath, the merchante sanctified one last oath: to give control of his shipping company to Wallace O’dell.

I mourn for the loss of my friend and ally, but too many wheels had been set in motion. Tomorrow at sunset, the Ascending Phoenix would make the Immaculate Order pay for their heresy.

View
Dragon's Wrath Extra I
Ledaal Venet

Venet struggled to get through the double doors of the Immaculate Temple with all of his supplies. Usually this wasn’t a problem, as Ramora would carry the extra baggage, but the monks asked him to come alone, so he pressed on. He had no idea what the monks wanted with him. He was a painter, so unless they wanted a portrait, his skills didn’t exactly fall into the category of useful to them. If they did want a portrait painted, why would they only ask him to bring his basic supplies? Did they even know what basic to Ledaal Venet meant? He had come with just about everything, save some of his more unique colors and mediums. A troubling occurance, as it was making it hard for him to move. Finally some of the acolytes ran to help him, but the doors were, for the most part, behind him. He walked past the reception desk, through the Essence Affairs office, and up the stairs toward the monk’s chambers.

Venet was familiar with the Temple. He had come by to admire the architecture many times in the past. It was always a bit disappointing that the inside paled in comparison to the exterior. Somehow the architect had managed to capture the ferocity of the flame in motion, and create a building from it. Every time he looked at it he couldn’t help but critique it a bit though. The color choice was nothing to complain about, but he felt that simple reds, yellows, and oranges didn’t give its form the proper style. The inside looked more stereotypical of the structures on the Blessed Isle. If there wasn’t a good reason for all the Jade, he’d think they overused it.

Venet climbed the spiral stairs that he now realized might be a bit too narrow for him and all of his supplies to easily navigate. Much like everything else in the Temple, the stairs were also Jade. He liked Jade when it was used in new ways, but otherwise preferred a rarer metal that he had seen in some of the more artistic manses of the Realm. He liked it so much he had a special brush made from it. It was a strangely thin item, smaller than most brushes, despite the fortune he paid for it. His thoughts were lost after that though as he hit his foot on the last step and stumbled. Several of his brushes fell while he caught himself and he bent over to pick them up.

“Ledaal Venet?” Said a voice fom the hallway in front of him.

“Yes, that’s me.” Venet replied, scooping up the last of his fallen brushes.

He stood up and readjusted his pack before he got a better look at the man in front of him. He wore the white robes of an Earth Monk. Bronze lining indicated that he was high ranking. Venet could see that he was bandaged in several places, and he had a bit of a limp. Short dark hair sat atop his head in a style that drew the eye to his own, though currently disheveled. It looked like he had been in quite a scrape recently.

“Come with me,” He said solemnly.

Venet quickly got behind him and followed him through a series of corridors. They’re passed by monks and acolytes as they rushed in every direction. The place hadn’t looked too busy from the outside, but something seemed to have gotten them all worked up. Soon they wound up in front of an ornate Jade door. The Earth Aspect wasted no time and went through. Venet tried to follow, but the door quickly shut, giving off a loud slam. Taken aback a bit, he stared accusingly at the door. He quickly pulled back though, for it almost seemed like the door was staring back at him. He leaned forward to inspect the door a bit closer. His inspection revealed a pattern he hadn’t noticed at first. It was a dragon. Venet was beyond disappointed now. He could appreciate a theme, but it was getting ridiculous. He almost felt tempted to give the door a new more interesting design, but it opened before he could even unsling his pack. A different monk poked his head through the door. This one wearing red robes with the same bronze linings. His long white hair had a singed look to it at the end.

“Is he here?” He said quickly looking around before noticing Venet. “Oh. Wonderful. Come in please.” He opened the door and beckoned the artist inside.

Venet entered the room and quickly took in his surroundings. This room looked like it saw gatherings often. It looked like there had once been seats arranged all around it, but they had all been pushed aside leaving the floor clear. Otherwise the room had a few fountains and urns that gave it away as a recreational area. It already seemed to have plenty of art. Dragons. Who knew? The two monks were the only ones there besides him, and neither of them appeared dressed for a painting… Not that it mattered.

“Gentlemen,” Venet finally said, “Might I ask why I’ve been called to the Immaculate Temple?”

“The Immaculate Order has need of your services. I’m sure you’ve seen the message spun in webs under the city.” The monk in red said.

Venet nodded and started to unpack his supplies. He started with the easel, and quickly drew the canvas across it. Next, his palate and as many colors as he could fit on it. He placed his brushes in a small vase and pulled out his favorite one. The monks eyed the brush for a moment, but then continued their explanation.

“We fear that the Ascending Phoenix might be planning something. We know now that Silken Venom has been aiding him, and the message is spun in his webs” Said the monk in white “That’s why we need you to help us find and identify him”

“You want me to make a facial composite?” Venet asked.

“Yes. We’re running out time, and his next move might be even bigger.” Said the monk in white

“Bigger than a riot in the undercity?” Questioned Venet.

“That’s what we’re worried about. Anathema do not think small, and this one is no exception.”

Venet had to agree with that. Starting a riot in Spaendal was not an easy task. He also understood why they came to him for the picture. Who else could contain that much power in a single painting?

“Alright, let’s get started!” Venet said enthusiastically. “Now who do I have the pleasure of working with today?”

“I am Peleps Laticho.” Said the monk in white. “And this is Ragara Fowenu”

“Excellent! Now, tell me about the Ascending Phoenix.” Venet said dipping his brush in the water.

Laticho crossed his arms and put on a thoughtful look.

“He was tall, with red hair. His face-”

“Stop. Stop. What are you doing?” Venet asked, putting his brush down.

“Describing the Ascending Phoenix.” Laticho replied, a bit confusedly.

“That’s just fine, but that’s not what I asked for. You’re giving me a physical description.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“Tell me how he stood, what he said, how he said it; things like that. I need to know
who he is. Not what he is.”

Laticho and Fowenu exchanged what wouldn’t be the last confused looks they gave each other that day. The next few hours consisted of the monks trying to explain what it was like to fight the Ascending Phoenix. How he held his sword, when he struck, when he was silent, and when he spoke. Every word they said was taken into account as Venet fervently stroked at the canvas. The brush taking on a life of its own as it moved to every corner of the canvas. Soon Venet had heard enough and he took to painting more furiously than before. Laticho and Fowenu could only wait as Venet’s face shifted between multiple emotions in the blink of an eye. Then he set down his brush, took a step back, and inspected his work.

“What do you think?” He said, as he spun the easel around. “Is this the man you’re looking for?”

The monks immediately recognized the person in the painting. It was the same man that killed their sworn brother, and threw the entire undercity into chaos. Venet had completely recreated the likeness of the Ascending Phoenix without a single physical description.

“That’s incredible.” Said Fowenu, as he reached forward and pulled the canvas off the easel.

“Now we just need to make some copies, and use them to find this monster.”

“Excuse me?” Venet Said, and he ripped the canvas from the monk’s hand. “Copies? Ledaal Venet’s work is never copied. Each of my paintings is one of a kind, even if I use the same subject.”

“Are you talking about your painting at the museum?”

“Yes. I imagine that is why you called me in here. Though, I’ve painted this man on yet another occasion. Honestly I’m surprised I did not see it before.” Venet said, eyeing the painting.

“You have?! Where?!” Blurted out Fowenu.

“It was at the Summit. He called himself Sesus Kalak.”

Fowenu repeated the name to himelf.

“This changes everything.” Said Laticho.

“Now that we have the name, we won’t need the picture” Added Fowenu.

“Then am I finished here?” Asked Venet.

“Yes. The Immaculate Order thanks you for your help.” Said Laticho in a rehearsed manner.

“Then I shall take my leave. Farewell, Gentlemen.” Venet said with a bow, and then packed up his supplies. The project had not been what he expected, but he felt the subject was most interesting. He thought about how much he had learned about this “Ascending Phoenix.” How he listened to the stories in Torvus and saw the idols and statues. How he thought he understood this figure, but managed to completely miss him sitting right next to him.

He reached the doors to the Temple and worked them open. This time aided by a woman who seemed to be in a hurry to leave. He thanked her, but didn’t know if she heard. He walked along the path away from the Temple with his newest painting in his hands. He stopped to inspect it closer. This one seemed so boring compared to the others. He had purposely simplified the work so that the man could be identified. It disappointed him that he had made something so plain.

Suddenly a loud voice broke him out of his lull. He quickly searched for its source, but the sound seemed to come from everywhere. The people on the street began turning their attention to the center ring, and Venet’s went with it. It looked like they were looking at the sun, but Venet was sure that it had just set. Focusing a bit, he saw that the glowing orb wasn’t the sun. It was a man. A man glowing bright enough to light up the entirety of Spaendal, with a voice strong enough to reach every ear.

There was no doubt about it. That was the Ascending Phoenix, and he was fulfilling Silken Venom’s prophecy. He immediately began unpacking his supplies right there on the Temple grounds. He stretched the canvas containing his newest painting over the easel and grabbed his favorite brush.

“Now that is something worthy of my canvas.”

View
An Old Flame and a New Blaze
From the Journals of Sesus Kalak

Camreal had been hurt pretty badly, but I needed to put the information I learned from the Summit to use, so I left him at Lapis’s warehouse. I needed to find a way to contact this god known as the Sea of Amber Blades; if he was truly as elusive as the Immaculate Monks claimed, he would be a useful ally. I immediately took off for the Immaculate Temple in the city, hoping to find information on where to find the trickster god. What I found was much more shocking.

Working at the Temple library was a woman I knew by the name of Iselsi Faron. I knew Faron from my time in the House of Bells, where our families decided that we would one day be married. Of course, this was all before the attack on Thorns when most of the Realm believed me to be dead. Faron gave me the information I needed and promised to keep the knowledge of my return between us.

During this time, we also discovered a few interesting facts. Namely that the city’s museum planned to “Reveal the Ascending Phoenix” that very night. We also learned that the city’s patron god, Silken Venom, had not been seen in a long time. Seeing that we had a long time until I was supposedly going to be revealed, I decided to seek out this Silken Venom, who supposedly resides in the pillars that hold up the Upper City of Spaendal. All it took was a quick climb into these pillars to discover the location of the god, who took the form of a large spider. Not wanting to give myself away, I introduced myself as the Emissary of the Ascending Phoenix, and explained that the god appeared to be a worthy ally. Silken Venom also told me of his plight: how the Immaculate Order was keeping people from worshiping him and how he was originally appointed to protect Spaendal from the poisonous swamp it was built upon. I came to a horrible realization: if Silken Venom were forgotten, the Lower City would all die, but the Upper City would be protected from the swamp gases. This information had to be given to the people of the city. Silken Venom had to gain back his worshipers.

That night, I attended the gathering at the city’s museum, where the Ascending Phoenix would be revealed. I had my men waiting outside with my weapons and armor, in case someone there had truly found out my secret. It turns out that I was wrong. The “Reveal” that was spoken of was actually the premier of a painting done by the Dynast Painter Ledaal Venet. The painting itself depicted the Phoenix (the face was obscured by a heavenly light) standing triumphantly over the rubble of Governor Joriag’s palace in the city of Torvus, a phoenix perched upon my shoulder. Overall, I found it quite flattering.

The next day would prove to be quite eventful. Since coming to Spaendal, I had spoken in the Lower City on a regular basis. I had told them of the Phoenix’s coming, of the sins and heresy of the Immaculate Order and of the Golden Age that I would bring to the Blessed Isle. Tomorrow I would reveal that the Immaculate Order’s actions against Silken Venom would eventually destroy the Lower City.

I feel it will prove to be a most glorious event.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.