Each legacy is more than just a story;
united all beginnings open doors –
we embrace Fate and die for our own glory,
as ages fade, but Promises endure.
Alakar i’Xiia was uncertain which of his ancestors had agreed to this nonsense, but he didn’t have time for it. A Verse of Magnora? Really? What did they take him for, an adventurer? It was tedious in the extreme. Nonetheless, a promise was a promise, and he was not about to risk besmirching his house’s name by sweeping it under the rug.
As it transpired, it was not quite as purposeless as he had hoped. 200,000 gold was his takeaway from the affair all told, which given that he had auctioned off the Verse to a bid of 125,000 was something of a triumph. The exchange made, he happily returned to the Asylum, placing the funds aside to be poured into future experiments.
Those he left behind on Avechna’s Peak stood listening as Ejderha Zayah translated the Verse aloud. Many simply departed thereafter, but a few set to research: Anita Zayah began hunting through the news for the other Verses from the past years, whilst a group of Heralds gathered in Magnagora to discuss the situation.
But it was Serenwilde who made the breakthrough. Elissata Silvermoon was fond of books. More fond of books, you might say, than people. It was she who first pondered whether this latest Verse was not simply prophecy, but instruction. “Set twenty-four through thirty-one”, MXXVIII read. But she only seemed to have odd-numbered Verses. Was that a pattern? Was she simply missing some?
It seemed imperative that they be found, because she had begun to wonder whether “united all beginnings” was a reference to the first letter or word of every Verse – but what she had made little sense.
There had to be more.
“I slumbered,” he found himself saying, “waited for the day my Lord would call upon me to serve.”
Was now that time?
For years, something had…stirred within him. Power was waxing, and the secrets that he kept were coming to weigh heavily upon him; most of all those that he did not know. Even amidst a conversation he had longed to orchestrate for months, the lich found himself drifting, thinking of coruscating sigils.
“Have you heard of the House of Prophets?” he asked, ignoring the weight upon his chest. “Such a ruin now, such a foolish institution when you look at how subservient and worshipful they were of the Fates, but…they have done their job right.”
He just didn’t remember how.
Elissata gained one of the missing Verses from the World Library, archived there many years ago in the care of Weeky Pedia. Another was given by Remmiel Strongleaf, who shared those that had been passed to Magnagora by Uzriel i’Vipere. But this was still not enough. Frustrated, the scholar Elizanthra – who had been assisting in the research – shouted that they were in the World Library researching these Verses.
This was, perhaps, not quite what Elissata had in mind. Soon there were over twenty people in the World Library, clamouring for the location of the final Verse. The letters that they had were shared, in numeric order from 24-31, leading to a number of guesses at what the word could be. Unknowingly, it was Hegemone i’Vipere who was correct – guessing the word even before the final letter had been revealed.
Stepping away from the crowd, Kalas Cyna sought the confidence of Marcella n’Lochli. She explained that the Verse was in her possession, and that she had secreted it away many years before, even going so far as to manufacture a false one to cover her tracks. Of course, Cyna had forgotten one thing: Marcella n’Lochli did not take things in confidence.
She revealed the Verse first to all of Magnagora, and then to the group at the World Library. Cyna made several futile attempts to cover this up, attempting to get the scholar Elizanthra to come with her so that she could meet the same fate as Elsa and Constance – even attempting to pass her false Verse off as the ‘true’ one, claiming the one she had shown Marcella was a fake.
But it was too little, too late: the word was already known. It was just as Hegemone had said, and soon it spread through people like wildfire. Magnagora scattered, returning to the city, and began to work on something unknown to much of the Basin. The Warlord issued a ban on all non-Magnagorans entering the city, which Remmiel Strongleaf passed to every other organisation as a warning. Of course, this warning only served to alert them that something was happening.
The question was: what?
And in Malacoda Manor, alone and at last understood, a nobleman collapsed to the ground and sobbed.
It was done.
Now the future was in their hands.
Some time passed.
Quietly and stealthily, one Illuminati managed to infiltrate the Magnagorans with a ribbachi. Making their way quickly to their allies in Glomdoring, they passed on that which they were able to hear: the Magnagorans had found something. There were documents: an enciphered journal; some letters; perhaps other things. To their frustration, they learnt many things and nothing all at once. Meanwhile, the other wagging tongues in Magnagora passed on yet more information to their friends in far-flung places.
Then the sky split with gold, and a voice echoed through all of Creation: that of the High Prophet, Ghani n’Rotri, representative of Magnagora on the doomed Project Cosmic Hope expedition.
He revealed himself as the puppetmaster behind the strings of the past years: as the noble viscanti who Magnagora had entertained; as the commander of the spies; as the one who had escaped from the Mirage Prison; as the one responsible for the portals that had possessed others and unleashed Astral monstrosities. He taunted his home, Magnagora, for the traitors who had told their secrets and the spies from Gaudiguch that they had missed. He even thanked the world’s adventurers for assisting in his ascension.
He manifested above the Basin, a tattered and winged silhouette, and tore an opening into the sky itself. “I will see you again soon,” he proclaimed. “My destiny is not yet fulfilled.” Then he passed through the tear in reality and was gone.