As the Song of Ail’Fae Runia rang throughout the Basin of Life, strengthened in some part by the higher vibrational hum of the Elemental Planes, the Solar Queen was overwhelmed. The skies of Faethorn glowed a gentle amber and twisted under the weight of ethereal magic; as if called into being by this situation, a column of golden light erupted around the Queen’s Tree. A fiery lash struck at the skies, and the Queen exhaled smoke and ash. Did it work? Was the Queen free?
Indeed, she was. But nary a moment of respite was granted to the Queen as she was soon beset by the people of the Basin of Life. Was she okay? Did she know what had happened? Queen Maeve did, it seemed. She explained that the warmth she had felt long ago was the awakening presence of the Sun, and specifically, the possessive influence of the Great Spirit’s champion, Mahaadi. At last, a name, an enemy! And this enemy did not wait too long before returning to Faethorn in force. Furious at the machinations of the Basin-dwellers, he unleashed a wild hunt with his cadre of warriors. The Faethorn burned, and the Basin laboured long fighting against Mahaadi’s minions. As this happened, the Queen, overseen by healers such as Ulalah Stormcrow, latched onto the small remaining residue of Mahaadi’s power in her to find his source. What took moments felt like minutes, an hour even, but it dawned upon the Queen.
Calling the forces of the Basin back to her throne, the Queen explained that he was coming from the Tree of Trees. When questioned further, it was revealed that the Rite of hai’Glohid b’Slawen was broken or left unkept – an ancient rite that brought those under its effects into dreamless sleep. Tasking the little fae girl to guide them back to the Great Old One, the Maeve informed the Basin to seek Captain Maple Merriwood, as he would know what to do.
Returning once more to the Tree of Trees, the little fae girl explained that very few went into the Great Old One’s branches. However, in order to stop Mahaadi, she would reveal an entryway. And so, after gentle coaxing, the path to Amberni, the mighty branches of the Tree of Trees, was opened.
As the people of the Basin climbed to the highest points, they were greeted with fearful intrusion by Captain Merriwood. Learning they were friend not foe, he informed them that the invasion of Faethorn was brought on by Mahaadi, who was awakened by Delphyne Amberlight, a powerful and old nymph who is beloved by Father Sun. Tirelessly, the Basin gathered the materials necessary to stop the Dawn’s Champion – returning back and forth to Faethorn and Amberni to fight against him. After many stages of the battle, Mahaadi was finally struck low – his power too weak to revive himself in the smouldering embers of Faethorn. It was then that the Sun’s power peaked. Erupting in a silent nova of darkened energy, the Black Sun shed its darkened figure – becoming a cascade of rainbow light, something which had not been since the time of the Elder Gods. However, this moment of beauty was not to last, for it was then that the dreadful ***CRACK*** of the Seals resounded. A Trial of Ascension was to come.
Yet, while the Basin of Life slowly returned to the Prime Material Plane, and to the hope of normalcy, not all was finished in Amberni. Indeed, Primus Gero and Tristanna Myeras stayed behind to aid Captain Merriwood in performing the Rite of hai’Glohid b’Slawen. The task was long, tiring and difficult, but in the end, it was managed. Mahaadi’s invasion was stopped and Delphyne Amberlight was returned to her sleep, at least, until she was awakened again and he called to war.
In the end, the question remained: what was the purpose of these turn of events? The awakening of Father Sun, His drawing of power from the Queen of the Fae, the invasion of Faethorn, and the turbulence in distant Jojobo – their threaded story remains to be completely told. Perhaps in future months and years much more will be revealed. But for now, Ascension draws near – as does the threat of the terrible Soulless God, Almighty Kethuru.