The Enmity of Scolrys, Part XIV: Justice and Ascension

As the first hours of Ios arrived in the third year of the new age, so too did a terrible threat to the Hammer of Dawn.

Pounding drums and wild, phlegm-laden ululations arose from broken Huanazedha as the cultists of Incarnate Insanity carried out a dark rite. Led by Leira, the self-proclaimed champion of the Faceless One, the Nazetu opened their veins and cried out in the name of their profane deity. Blood and belief entwined into a sickening admixture, the resultant concoction slaking the thirst of a cracked eld core claimed only weeks prior.

“LANU DU! LANU DU! LANU DU!” cried each of Its faithful, every chanted syllable imbuing the core with yet more power. Soon, a dark shadow struggled up from the center of a ritual circle before the preserved remains of Midnight’s Oracle, the tension of oppositional Chaos setting the air to a burning crackle. The sundering of a metaphysical chain screeched throughout the realm, the clamour of disrupted machinery ringing out across two planes. Oneiromancers and once-oneironauts of the Unforgotten Court alike felt something amiss in the mechanical sphere of Astral Orange as the rite reached its conclusion, a terrible severance stabbing away at them.

Even as this horror proceeded apace, the dark shadow flowed out of Huanazedha. Like a river of putrid insanity, it sloshed and crashed, its eldritch momentum carrying it along the roads on a
swift course towards the Hammer of Dawn.

“PRAISE BE!” roared one of the outspoken cultists of Lanu Du. “GLORY TO THE FACELESS ONE!”

Swelling upward as a solid wall of defiled water, an aberrant eld crashed down upon the road
outside the Landward Gate. A discordant tune filled the air around it, bestowing the twisted blessing of the Mad God upon any who dared draw near.


Unwilling to let this threat stand without response, Sryaen Kavoros, Xavin Taziyah, and Eliadon Ecceliant stepped forth to do battle with the terrifying monstrosity set loose against the city’s gates. Though many of the threefold alliance sought to lend aid, they found their strikes too weak to do aught but annoy Lanu Du’s twisted servant, but they nonetheless stood guard to ensure that the Dragon and Qor Qogol could not interfere in this struggle for the city’s safety. Utilising twisted portals into lightless places of Chaos nearest Denan Arloi, the aberrant eld summoned tentacles and tendrils laden with rasping suckers and gnawing mouths, assaulting the three ascendants with the full might birthed by dark rite. Wielding the judgemental light of the Triad, the brute strength of callous heroes, and the cataclysmic magic of an expert sorcerer, the three champions carved through the eld. Whensoever it felt threatened, the aberration girded itself with pure waves of madness and summoned thrashing tentacles to do its bidding – tentacles that swiftly found themselves quelled by might, burnt by light, and shattered by high elemancy.

It was Eliadon who finally stepped forth to stymie the tide of horror and insanity. Utilising his mastery of magic, the Docent unravelled the portals projected by the being’s core. Despite his natural aptitude with spellcraft, however, the thaumaturge found his entire being scattered across the cosmos, his myriad modicums disparate and separated from his vast consciousness. In a nigh-unprecedented act of sheer willpower, the Ascendril’s docent managed to understand a scrap of Creation’s underpinnings and utilised this newfound knowledge to put his form back together bit by bit. With raw mental fortitude used in place of spirit and shadow’s fundamental schematic, Eliadon returned to the Prime whole and healthy as Sapience’s second Sagani.

Xavin was the next to make a brave sacrifice for the sake of the Hammer. As the aberration reared back one massive tentacle in an attempt to break the gates and open the city to hordes of rampaging Chaos spawn, the Provost threw himself into the appendage’s path. Though it crushed him to do so, the knight managed to deter the tentacular assault at the cost of his mortal form. The defiled eld soon consumed Sir Taziyah, sending him plummeting through the same lightless depths that had birthed the core’s maddening powers. As his final moments bubbled away, however, Xavin felt himself rescued by the providence of the Triad. Beneath Their inscrutable gaze, the warrior swore to uphold Their threefold expectations and found himself reforged in the crucible of holy conflagration, rendering him the first Seraph of the new age and the fourth in recent history.

Unwilling to concede the fight, the aberrant eld enacted one last desperate gambit. With its tendrils and tentacles writhing into the earth, the terrifying creature tore open a path to the very ley beneath the Hammer, an act that could send the entire city toppling into the recondite depths. Recognising the danger this posed, Pentarch Sryaen launched himself forward and dragged his foe down into that crevasse, his weapon clutched tight. As he and the foul eld tumbled down through infinite space and the mysterious veins of the world, they continued their mortal struggle. Proving himself the better warrior between the two, Sryaen thrust his hand into the flowing foulness and wrenched out the eld core that granted it its watery powers by raw might alone. Triumphant and exhausted, the man utilised the core’s latent powers to ascend to the state of Titan and clambered out of the crevasse, allowing it to seal behind him.

Even as Enorian’s triumvirate champions triumphed over the aberrant assailant, the thunder of Nazedhan drums continued into the early morning, heedless of the eld’s fall.

The following week, the Illuminai managed to rouse Freydha from her captive slumber. She was slow to rise, throwing her arms up and screaming to be left alone. Meleah Silverain spoke calmly to Freydha, assuring the Arqeshi woman that she was safe, drawing her back to reality. She apologised profusely, expressing that the nightmares had seemed so real, while revealing that she knew her son’s plan.

Freydha went on to detail that when Qepim came to visit her before she was attacked, he’d been speaking with Minax Shadowend, the daughter of Baelaka trusted strategist, Klaas Shadowend. Qepim was convinced that Minax could help him break free from the shadows of their family’s past and forge a new path. He spoke of their shared desire to shape their own destinies and fulfill the elusive dreams of their fathers. He revealed that he is more than just a scion of a fallen ruler; he is the vessel of prophecy, the chosen one destined to walk in his fathera footsteps and empower the ancient god… the Faceless One. In plain words, she spelled out his intent to rebuild the fleet within the Beryl Sea and to once more attempt to conquer everyone and everything in the name of the Faceless One. Just as she finished her explanation, smoke billowed and roiled in the distance over the sea, the smell of burning wood and remnants of decayed wreckage mingling in the salty sea breeze.

Grand Crusader Benedicto Silverain led the charge, being the first to touch down amidst the wreckage of the Nazedha Fleet, confronting both Qepim Shipbreaker and Minax Shadowend head-on. As the forces of Enorian swiftly followed, a colossal battle erupted. In the heat of the confrontation, Minax took a brutal blow, causing her to collapse unconscious at the feet of the elite warriors of the Hammer, while Qepim seized an opportune moment and vanished beyond the wreckage, fleeing into the open sea.

Members of the battle party spread out over the wreckage to investigate while Vanguard Inthirath Karthi and Pentarch Sryaen Kavoros discussed what to do with the still unresponsive Minax Shadowend. As the two discussed, a Nazetu woman garbed in Urmoc battle armour approached the group. Filled with suspicion, the Pentarch demanded the unknown Nazetu to identify herself; she introduced herself as Laxmi Acacus of the Urmoc tribe. She explained that she had heard whispers of Minax and Qepima plans circulating through the isles, and came to find out if there was truth to it as well as to warn this place she knew as Enorian.

A swift dialogue unfolded between Laxmi and Inthirath, culminating in an agreement: Laxmi would stay behind at the wreckage to vigilantly monitor and notify the Hammer of Dawn should Qepim reappear. Meanwhile, Inthirath and Sryaen deliberated further and ultimately concluded that bringing Minax to Enorian as a captive would jeopardise the city’s safety. With resolve, Vanguard Inthirath drew a blade from his belt, kneeling to swiftly and decisively sever Minax’s throat from end to end.

Even as Minax bled out upon the shattered remnants of a conqueror’s fleet, the Heartwood sought answers…

Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 4th of Omeian, in the year 3 AC.