With the docks of Enorian in ruins and Sapience on high alert following the Haekathi incursion, tension gripped the continent as the world itself seemed to hold its breath, waiting in anticipation for the next inevitable calamity to strike.
The wait would be a short one. Following a particualrly intense focus battle deep in the Hlugnic Labyrinth that left scores dead, the scorching presence of Yvalamon the Fury was felt once more. Sweltering heat washed over the entirety of Sapience as the Albedi Tumult attempted to sustain Itself from the conflict and violence permeating the air, growing visibly stronger as yet more hordes of enraged fire daemons poured into the tunnels.
As time wound on, Yvalamon began to manifest regularly at the site of pitched battles, Xaanhal and Arbothia in particular transformed to theatres of conflagrant war. Daemons by the hundreds assaulted Sapience alongside the Ancient God’s appearances, Its calcine form infused with greater strength as it fed on the thrill of bloodshed.
~ ~ ~
Many speculated over the fate of Copperhead following its disappearance during the anomalous focus. Unseen since the battle of the Gods, the Cogger’s plans remained a mystery until mid Haernos, when its now-familiar clanking tones issued a warning at level five: critical. Moments later, a full veiling of Haekathi operatives converged upon Masilia seeking the aeonic confluence device, but they had severely underestimated their resistance. The Cogger effortlessly dispatched the invaders, executing its combat protocols with deadly efficiency and disposing of the corpses with ease.
As adventurers flocked to its side, the emissary of Kalchos relayed the intelligence it had gathered: the Haekathi had moored off the coast of Scidve where its ship – known as the Midnight Serpent – lay in wait for the operatives’ return. Seeing this as a challenge and ever-content for a chance at violence, the people of Sapience took up arms and raided the vessel in small groups, facing copious Haekathi reavers and sailors who stood in defence of the ship’s captain: Xaseira.
Armed with restricted technology including an array of shockwave bombs, a gauntlet of peculiar provenance, and a weapon capable of launching projectiles at deadly force, the commander fought a hard campaign and proved a formidable foe, felling countless opponents that attacked her unprepared.
Yet the strength of Sapience prevailed time and again: forcing Xaseira to retreat and regroup before she re-moored elsewhere along the coast. Of the dozens that faced her on her own vessel, it was Tanthilos, Lim, Nipsy, and Whirran who most relentlessly harried the Haekathi commander, setting aside their everyday grudges in order to repel the most pressing threat.
Penned missives and field orders were discovered aboard the Serpent, revealing the Haekathi’s twin objectives: to secure the aeonic confluence for the Autarch, and to cripple the naval resistance of Sapience in the process.
~ ~ ~
While Enorian worked in tandem with the Argent Legion to repair their docks, Rhulin Glintspear – still wearied by his interrupted retirement – proposed action: the building of a mighty warship to replace those sunk in the Haekathi’s first assault. The plan soon took hold and the city, galvanised by the brazen attack on their soil, was roused to immediate preparations.
As construction began in earnest and donations of commodities and gold poured in – in particular from Xavin, Tinazin, Merek, Isia, and Jezreth – an excited din gripped Enorian. In the days that followed, the Vanguard and her subordinates found themselves sent on many a wild chase in search of aid: procuring a sailmaker after an inordinately difficult series of negotiations, and unearthing a barrel of pitch buried on Eftehl by one of Rhulin’s more dubious associates.
As the grace of the Rekindled blessed the Beacon with a gift of a fresh-fashioned ship’s wheel, only the matter of naming their burgeoning craft remained.
Dawnbreaker, it would be called. And it would be a mighty vessel indeed.