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The Curse of the Jungle

Roughly a month passed before Doctor Creshok was revisited by Falmiis and Ileein Shevat and Tamashi of Hallifax, who asked whether or not the cure for the skinrot outbreak was ready. It was, at least, but the question of dissemination was asked. Calibration of the gnomish machines was out of the question; not only was the cure more auric in nature, and not a simple superficial cleaning, but the re-calibrating the machines could have taken any amount of time that they did not have. Suggestions were made for the Tainted Broadcast Center’s mechanisms, or even the old Celestine Empire’s Project Cloudspout, but the good doctor was worried about manipulating such outdated machinery. It was only then that it was decided that the best option was an old Aeromancer devide that could produce the necessary change in atmopsheric pressure for an area-wide delivery of the vaccine. Asking for a day, Creshok returned to her laboratory – both to finish up the vaccine and prepare the machine. At the agreed upon location – on the summit of Avechna’s Peak, just before the Avenger Himself – Creshok stood waiting for the Basin. Shouts were made, market pronouncements were delivered, and soon, people from all walks of life arrived. Empowered with a meager amount of cloud essence, Ileein was the first to enact the machine, which cause a gentle storm to douse the Peak with the long-awaited cure. And so, Project Westwind was born. In the following days and months, the machine would be enacted by any who required its services. But the curse itself was not lifted.

A month later, Avechna’s Peak erupted in sudden light which slowly forced away Mother Night’s darkness; it took several flares for anyone to notice, and the first to arrive was Synkarin Ysav’rai, who was greeted by the translucent projects of Turiki and Sidwesh. With his astute powers of observation, Synkarin noted that they appeared quite dour and somber, and it was only after summoning Gaudiguch, Glomdoring, and Magnagora, did he and the Basin learn that Mraxin’s disappearance was due in part by a Goldenclaw raid in distant Jojobo that lead to the Perihelion’s death, as well as the deaths of roughly 100 Dawnburst Druids. Synkarin and Cyndarin Ysav’rai were interested in giving Turiki and Sidwesh an option for vengeance, but first, the curse of the Goldenclaws would need to be broken. The two druids explained that the working that the Basin was afflicted with was through the Goldenclaw’s covencraft – a mighty feat that brought the full Fury of the jungle upon them: to break it would require even more power. So the inhabitants of the Basin decided to do this vial ritual, to invoke not only the natural powers of Mother Night and Moon and Brother Hart and Crow, but also the elemental powers. As Synkarin contacted and rallied the Basin, the various cities and communes went off to prepare for this Great Rite.

In Glomdoring, Salome Shee-Slaugh, Athree Nightshade, and the Ebonguard Veyils sought Rowena’s guidance. After only lightly admonishing them to create their own ritual, they devised one built around the sacrificial logics of the nai’Dorin; atop Night’s Needle with Crek and other witnesses, they performed it to no response, which they assumed was due to the fact that they had not invoked Crow properly. In Hallifax, Keeper Ushaara and Shedrin Windwhisper sought out Zeforos, Lord of the North Wind; however, this visit was cut short, as the Elemental Lord found irony in the Hallifaxians’ decision, which lead to Ushaara reprimanding the entity. Magnagora had better luck, with Marquessa Veldrin appealing to Gravynia, Lady of the Cracked Stone. While not providing exact advice, the Elemental Lady suggested that the Marquessa return to the old ways of the Geomancer, producing for her the famed Libellus Geomancie in order to “sunder the world.” In Serenwilde, Sondayga Zayah, Sarrasri Talnara, and Tristanna Myeras enacted a ritual to appeal to Moon and her Avatars. When this gained no effect, they assumed it was because it was daytime and then tried speaking to Hart, who explained that if they called upon the hunt, he would come. While Synkarin called upon Celest, he contacted Sister Cicara who was not confident in addressing the problem herself and forwarded the appeal to her leaders.

As the Basin performed their rituals separately, Turiki gave into her rage. Where was the ritual that the Basin promised? she shouted, and it was then decided that it was perhaps one ritual, not six, that must be performed. And so, the Basin’s inhabitants gathered before one of the sunpride trees on Avechna’s Peak to enact a singular ritual of elemental and natural power. Led by Salome, the elements were called by the Basin’s mages: Veldrin performed the Ritual of Access from the Libellus Geomancie to brought forth elemental earth; while Falmiis Shevat summoned the power of elemental air; Daebach D’Varden followed suit to summon forth elemental water; and concluding the elemental magics was an ensemble of Synkarin and Talan Ysav’rai and Farlaris Mes’ard who drew upon the powers of flesh and Fire. Salome drew upon the shadows of Mother Night, sacrificing herself to empower her kin, while Crek Ysav’rai anointed Kalanaya with the markings of Crow to draw forth the dark spirit. The Serenwilde, guided by Sarrasri, Sondayga, and Tristanna, began their ritual in the distant Ethereal Realm before concluding their working where everyone else stood, summoning Moon and Hart together. As the Grand Rite concluded, the combined power of six-in-one cut through the veil that the Goldenclaw Wiccans wove for their jungle curse, revealing them far within the verdure of the transformed mountains and roads. So then the hunt began.

The Goldenclaws summoned their fae to do battle, but the wiccans were not a match for the Basin of Life, who made short work of them all. As they fought, the terrible Hexchiefs of the Goldenclaw appeared, who was hunted down and slain. His corpse brought to Turiki, the taurian sacrificed him to reveal the source of the curse – a treasure stolen from Highwater Keep, a memento from the Coven’s previous excursion within the Basin. The Basin set out to return it to Duke Gonore; however, they were not the first there, as half a dozen hexchiefs laid in wait for them. Again, a battle of magic and fae occured, but soon enough, each one fell before the combined might of the Basin. When the treasure was gifted to Duke Gonore, he urged them to return it back to the vaults, and upon do so, the curse was lifted from Lusternia. The jungle receded, the vegetation decayed; the remaining insects sought out succor from shade or beneath the ground, only to be found by Falmiis, Synkarin, and Ileein who routinely exterminated them. As the Basin began to cure themselves once more through Project Westwind, they returned to see Turiki and Sidwesh – but at this point, their connection to the Basin faltered and their projections disappeared.

As day broke, the Basin found themselves without the presence of the Dawnburst Druids – standing alone, once again, between the competing factions of the Jojobo Jungle.

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