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Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 3


Part 2 recap: Bellarax and Domatra begin translations on the strange Drakkonian artifact. As they mouth the ancient words and trace the runes, the tablet flares to life, surrounding them in shimmering white light. All around them, they feel the deep vibrations of a primal hum, and see a purple mist begin to rise. When the light recedes, they find themselves floating on a celestial island, with the stars overheads moving through their paths overhead, as if time flowed more quickly in this place. In the center of the island, they can see a strange Orb, floating and pulsating with multicolored light. Casting aside their book-learning, the two scholar-warriors race forward to examine it.

Now, enjoy part 3! -- Sabrath Kell


The center of the island was not far, but far enough that Bellarax and Domatra noticed that the ground itself did not appear to be natural. Though the sparsely growing vegetation, spiraling and occasionally intersecting veins of bright purple light were drawn. Occasionally, several veins would coalesce together, forming small, pulsing pools.

"Assuming we get out of this place," said Bellarax as he ran, "imagine what we can learn from all this! Actual Drakkonian artifacts -- and access to this place -- whatever it is! Perhaps this is the Nexus -- it certainly seems far removed from the nations of Etheria. From here, think of what the scholars of the Lyceum can learn of the movement of stars, of our moons, maybe of how time works in realms outside of our own! Who knows what else this place can help us find? I'll be writing scholarship on this until this brown beard of mine turns grey or falls out completely."

"Seriously?" Even in a full run, the contempt in the way she said the word came through solidly, and thick. "You are a scholar of the Age of Catastrophe, as knowledgeable as anyone can be of the wonders and powers of the Drakkons, and all you want to do with the knowledge that we have a V'Tar Orb nearly in our possession is write about it? There was a time when you still remembered what it meant to be Ivarium. Even with all the teaching and hand-holding that you do at Sistarra these days, surely you can still remember that the world outside those borders is bleeding! Have you forgotten that our soldiers have reannexed most of the city-states of Salenia? And those self-righteous-Westlockian-Asyra-lovers haven't so much as raised a single blade against us. But just imagine if we had a little more Drakkonian firepower to assist us." She smiled, and this time, the smile did warm those bright blue eyes of hers.

"They call it the Age of Catastrophe for a reason Domatra, or had you forgotten? The Drakkon artifacts were too powerful for the humanoid races. Supposedly, they drew upon the pure power of Voltari. More than one reference talk about how that unchecked power melted mountains, reshaped terrains, and perhaps was even responsible for creating the Darkfenne. Surely you are not foolish enough to unleash something like that into the world again. We've yet to fully recover from it from the first time."

They neared the center of the island, What they assumed was the V'Tar Orb sat suspended atop a metal base in the middle of a dark black pedestal, rotating slowly clockwise. All around the base were more of the Drakkonic runes that they had seen on the tablet. The orb itself appeared as smooth as Dwarven glass, but from what they could see, the glowing power of its center was not enclosed by any surface. It pulsed with color, red, then yellow, blue then green, then back to red again. 

More importantly however was the statue that stood before the orb. It loomed over them, angular and alien, carved in the likeness of a creature that neither had seen before. It had two sets of eyes and a set of formidable mandibles. Large, predatory arms ending in impaling spikes rose outraised, and a segmented thorax that might have been a tail wrapped around its legs. It was vaguely insectoid, as if it were the original nightmare insect from which all future bad dreams had evolved.

"I always assumed the Drakkons would be, you know, more dragon-like," Domatra said, eyeing the statue. 

"I don't think this is a Drakkon," said Bellarax. "I think this is a representation of a Guardian, a SSlak or a Usslak. Supposedly, the Drakkons created a race of creatures to protect their treasures while they weren't around." 

"Well, I think it's sweet that they erected a monument to their guards. Obviously they were a thankful race. Anway, we'll have time enough to examine this monstrosity at length once we take a better look at the Orb." She took a step closer to the pedestal.

Within a heartbeat, the stone of the statue receded in on itself, leaving in its wake a living, moving, chitonous creature. Without a moment's pause, it swung its impaling spikes down at Domatra, raking down the back of her arm and side in a spray of blood. Its tail swung around as it moved sweeping her backward off her feet, and away from the orb. 

Without thinking, Bellarax drew his blade and rolled in front of Domatra giving his comrade the seconds she needed to regain her feet. He parried another attack from the creature, deflecting its spikes and leaping backward from the bite of its mandibles. "Here's hoping magic still works in this place," he roared, as he cast a Hurl Rock spell at the creature. Luckily it did, and with a satisfying "crunch" the stone struck the creature, ripping off pieces of its chitin, forcing it to reevaluate its attack.

Domatra was back on her feet. "Out of my way, insect," she said dismissively, blasting the creature with a wave of force strong enough to push even a Steelclaw Grizzly into next week. The Guardian merely stared down at her with its double sets of eyes.

"Uh Domatra?" said Bellarax. "That thing's not budging. Got anything else?"

"More than enough of this," said the Forcemaster, vaulting over Bellarax's shoulder and twirling her forceblade around and down across the creature's face, splintering mandibles and ripping a deep chasm through its chest and the smaller, insectoid hands that writhed there. 

The creature gave out a short, high-pitched click-shriek, and collapsed before the two, leaving the way to the Orb open and unobstructed. Domatra raced forward, toward the orb, her prize now clearly in sight. 

Things began to change the second the Guardian's lifeless carcass hit the ground. The stars around the floating island had begun to shift and slide, some coalescing with others, some tracing fine, ghostly lines between their points, outlining the edges of shapes. Some points began to glow more brightly, others began to fade. 

"By all the Lords of Magic," whispered Bellarax, his sword lowered as he started upwards and around with awe. "It's… a map of Etheria." Some points were now red, others yellow, others blue or green. "Domatra!" yelled Bellarax. "Wait! Stop! This is significant!"

But Domatra had already reached the pedestal. "What power will prevent our nation's plan for reannexation now?" she said. "Ivarium will have the power of the Drakkons!" And with that, she touched the Orb. be continued...

I really love this sentence!

--- Quote ---"Wave of force strong enough to push even a Steelclaw Grizzly into next week"
--- End quote ---

While i understand why Domatra is acting like that, i never root for characters that are blindly hunger for power. These types of character always brings calamity. I wonder, if they were fighting sslak or usslak :)


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