A Song of Fire and Water

Vengeance had been sworn by the arrogant draconic emissaries that had visited New Celest, and vengeance they pursued, appearing in the city of Light with demands that King Aknarin – the wielder of the Broom of Dawn’s Promise that had driven them away – be brought before them. When their demands were met with the refusal they deserved, the pair lept skywards, their attack seemingly repulsed by the same powers that had driven them away previously. However, they were soon joined by a terrifying new friend.

A blackened dragon tore into view, the secret sole survivor of Magnagora’s experimentation, and launched a furious assault upon the Guiding Star Lighthouse, home of the Ecclesiarchy, the Church of New Celest. As the lighthouse crumbled, Exarch Torili sought to flee with the precious Tears of Saint Tresalyne, but he was overtaken and slain. In his last effort to defend the tears, Torili flung them from the Guiding Star Lighthouse, where they tumbled into the Inner Sea. Without the relic to empower Celest’s defenses against the mature dragons, the city was now weakened, and the trio of dragons began their assault upon the city proper.

The citizens of New Celest mobilised rapidly. Though some briefly attempted to find the teardrops in the vast sea, others began to evacuate the citizens of New Celest, bringing them to the security of the Aegis Keep, the old guildhall of the Paladins. Fire and fury rained down around the quickly moving citizens; the Blue Cathedral, Sanctifier’s Abbey, the old Aqumancer guildhall, the theatre, the Star Palace and the tower of the Archons were among the places the hardest hit, though much of the city suffered from the dragons’ ravages.

As the evacuation continued, glimpses of Praetorian Hamos of the Ecclesiarchy could be seen, as he drew one of the dragons’ attention upon himself. At last the dragon grew tired of chasing the kephera, and turned its attention to the Lodestar Athenaeum. Praetorian Hamos stood in staunch defence of the building, upon its pinnacle, and threw himself upon the dragon in an act of great personal sacrifice. Then suddenly, he and the dragon vanished. The abrupt disappearance of one of their kind caused the two remaining dragons to retreat, granting the city a temporary reprieve as the blackened dragon took up a lair within the ruins of the lighthouse.

Zeasha Novikei and Yanitone Symfale were joined by Brother Neluane Serole as they discussed the assault and contemplated what might be done. Some of the citizens went in search of Mother Olya, the keeper of the Broom of Dawn’s Promise, but found her home devastated by flame. Others overturned every shell in the Inner Sea, inquiring of Lanikai, Tardon the oyster farmer, and even the dolphins whether or not they had seen the Tears fall. Zeasha, Yanitone and Neluane retreated to the Aegis Keep’s library to research a plan for the coming month and promised they would call the citizens when it was time to act.

When the dragons renewed their assault, the trio called the citizens back and began to speak of their newfound plans. Aeral and Tridemon sought Olya once more, and by questioning the Janderi of the Grey Moors, the two were able to trace her to the Orphanage of Saint Gathlyn. Having procured the broom once again, they returned to find Lady Jarana Farain survived the collapse of Deep Blue Cathedral’s belltower by miracle. Even more surprising is that she had been granted a vision by Lady Elohora.

The vision would wait, however, as Tridemon hurried off, finding that the connection of the Broom of Dawn’s Promise to the tears still held, and that the relic might be used to locate them. Once the three tears had been gathered from the Inner Sea, plans were made with Brother Neluane, whose research had unearthed plans of ballistae: weapons once used by New Celest in the Nature Wars. Under his guidance, the city went to build ballistae to distract the dragons while Jethri created a new housing for the tears. All the citizens of New Celest scoured the debris for parts, and as the ballistas were sanctified, Aeral and Meritone accompanied Jethri back to his forge and tools, while the rest of the citizens hurried to the walls to begin their assault.

As Jethri hurriedly spun his glass globe, the citizens fired upon the dragons. They succeeded at last in bringing the second mature dragon down, and sending the blackened dragon once more warily away. However, the victory did not come without a cost; Dame Eluzmith was gravely hurt in the attack, and Manchal took to tending her injuries in the Archons guildhall. Still, a second dragon had fallen, and newly invigorated, the citizens gathered to hear Jarana share the vision that Elohora had given her.

Jarana revealed that while Praetorian Hamos was no more, the kephera had been reborn in the Light as Saint Hamos, the Dragonslayer, for his noble sacrifice. In the ashes of the Ecclesiarchy that he had left behind, Elohora urged the founding of a new guild: the Magisterium of the Holy Father, guided by Brother Neluane, to be part of the Church reborn, united with the city. No longer would one guild be the Church of New Celest; all three guilds would be part of the Church, unified with the State under the Holy Voice of the Celestial Crown.

In a coronation ceremony held by Jarana Farain in the Blue Cathedral, each guild pledged their fealty to King Aknarin and the Celestial Crown: Auriella on behalf of the Sancitifers, Romaan on behalf of the Archons, and Mjoll on behalf of the newly formed Magisterium. In answer in their fealty, a vision was granted unto those present of a water elemental taking arms against the blackened dragon above the Pool of Stars as a rhapsodic song resounded. With much to consider, the guild tutors once again retreated to consult on its meaning.

A clue was discovered in documents regarding the Sons of Dionamus, which Yanitone Symfale brought forward to share with Brother Neluane and Zeasha Novikei. In times long past, the Sculpture of Tamthys had caused miracles of strength, empowering waters in defense. Perhaps now, a similar power could be used and harnessed against the blackened dragon, using the Voice of Rhapsody herself. However, King Aknarin looked and found the Voice of Rhapsody was no longer in her old residence. Zeasha mused that perhaps the dragons’ attacks had frightened her and scattered her into the Flock of Miracles once more across the waters.

The citizens decided they would employ the same tactic that had brought back the Voice of Rhapsody and founded the Cantors guild: they would perform Raflein’s song, “Ode to Celest,” before the Thalassos, where surely the song could reach her. With musical accompaniment from both Zeasha and Qoivhae, Gabe Ladyn performed the song and to the delight of all present, the Flock of Miracles appeared once more. However, even among the hundreds of doves, the Flock was still not complete, and the song of lost doves rang out across the Elemental Plane of Water. All of Celest sought to empower the doves and return them to the Flock, even as the blackened dragon began to attack once more; Romaan, Ciuvi, Qoivhae, Aeral, Aknarin, and Talkan led the charge, restoring the Flock of Miracles whole once more.

Hundreds and hundreds of white doves descended upon the Inner Sea as the Flock of Miracles sang out, summoning a mighty water elemental from the depths of the ocean that bore the height of a mountain and the body of a fearsome tidal wave. An epic clash of titans occurred as the elemental dragged the blackened dragon from the skies, her flames proving futile and useless upon the gargantuan water elemental. When the mist and steam cleared, the dragon was seen caught writhing in the elemental’s arms as it plunged back into the Inner Sea, where neither the blackened dragon nor the water elemental ever re-emerged.

Cheers of victory erupted above New Celest, and, moved by the hope offered from the legacy of the Sons of Dionamus, Yanitone Symfale announced that the Archons would be taken up this legacy anew, as the Archons of Dawning Hope. Zeasha, inspired by the power of water and light combined, saw new aspects of the Sanctifiers of Saint Loathys revealed. The first task of the newly unified Church? The reconstruction of the city.