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The Essence of War

Refusing defeat, Sirsia Pois arranged the robbery of Celest's schematics and, with Countess Kalas Cyna's permission, proceeded to build their own machine for the Engine to harness dark essence to re-taint the Inner Sea. After additional inspection, she found a flaw in the schematics and utilising wood and dark essence, fashioned a weapon that could disrupt the Celestian contraption, rendering it useless for a day. She remitted the weapon to Countess Kalas Cyna and Understudy Ouphe i'Vipere with strict instructions on how to use it and to take care not to lose it as it was unique and an example of her exquisite craftsmanship.

Renewed and rejoiced, the Magnagorans rallied around their new machine and weapon, they immediately took it for testing. Understudy Ouphe i'Vipere was the first to successfully break the cleansing machine, much to the confusion and bewilderment of Lady Norigo, Earless Aeldra Ladyn, Iatrys Luminare and Duchess Auriella. Though the skirmish was swift, the true depth of the treachery did not reveal itself until they watched as Chaplain Marcella n'Lochli subsequently broke it again, allowing Magnagora plenty of time in the Celestian confusion to retrieve the required one thousand dark essence to taint the Inner Sea to its glory again.

Armed with their own machine and a weapon to deter their enemy, the Engine was ruthless, breaking the opposing machine and scouring the Planes for every ounce of essence possible in friendly and un-friendly territories alike. While the forces in Celest, including Luminary Meliana and city allies, attempt to push back the tide of Magnagorans breaking their machine and cornering the market on essence in the entire First World. So did the battle continue, tit for tat, back and forth, for days between these eternal rivals harvesting essence, blocking others from the essence and, for Magnagora's side, delaying Celest's ability to retaliate.

It was not until a failed raid on the Elemental Plane of Water by Chaplain Marcella n'Lochli did the City of Light receive a much-needed break in the neverending, essence tug-of-war...

Father Kagato was quick to grab the infamous weapon upon the occasion of the Chaplain's death on the Elemental Plane of Water, thereby evening the odds and removing a valuable tool in the Engine's tyranny. He presented the staff to Prince Kreon Zayah, who, with the wisdom of the Star Council (Duchess Kaimanahi Ladyn, Duchess Saoirse Kissane-Ladyn and Duchess Auriella), chose to secret the weapon away, safe and sound to prevent its use against them. Each walked away from the Council chambers, relieved at deterring the enemy, but troubled at the staff's ultimate origins.

Evenly matched, with no benefit to either side, the war continued with even more desperation for the lack of the staff. Though the Engine was able to taint the Inner Sea once more, Celest answered in kind by cleansing it less than a month after. Then, came the gurgling...

The contraption in New Celest was the first to break, spilling its essence into the Inner Sea to cleanse it one last time while spinning masses exploded from the remains as witnessed by Father Kagato. After some investigation, the spinning masses of light were submerged into the Pool of Stars, returning an amount of the power spent back into the Nexus.

Minutes later, despite the attentions of Sirsia Pois, she proclaimed the machine a failed experiment with a flaw in the original schematics. She was proven right, as the contraption exploded in the same manner as Celest's own, spilling out masses of dark essence in its wake. Under Sirsia's direction, while Carrion Eater Rolsand D'Cente placed the spinning masses into the Megalith of Doom, Chiurgeon Hegemone i'Vipere assisted in a final task of import to Sirsia Pois' work.

The staff was found once more and at Sirsia's recommendation, Chiurgeon Hegemone i'Vipere broke it, for good, releasing its power back into the Megalith.

Despite the failures and instability, Melothi Faran remains in New Celest, attempting to recover from memory what was stolen from her and her mentor...

While Sirsia Pois has not given up on extending the glory of the Engine of Transformation...

So ends the battle for essences, for now, though the war of Light and Taint continue until only one victor can remain.